Adding to the Depth

Arkansas signed five receivers in its 2011 recruiting class, two of whom have already enrolled at the university.

Arkansas bolstered its deep wide receiver position with the 2011 recruiting class.

Five receivers signed with the Razorbacks including Marquel Wade and Quinta Funderburk, who both enrolled early at UA for the spring semester. Wade, a 5-foot-11, 185 pound receiver from Jacksonville, Fla. was originally part of the Hogs 2010 class but due to eligibility issues had to leave the program and enrolled at Milford Academy, a prep school in New York. Wade went through the entire summer and fall camp with the Razorbacks in 2010 before heading to prep school.

"We expect him to be able and come in playing like a veteran," wide receivers coach Kris Cinkovich said.

In addition to playing the wide receiver position, Wade has the skills set to be a valuable return guy for the Razorbacks. As a senior at Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Fla. Wade returned five punt returns for touchdowns while also recording 53 receptions for 759 yards and nine touchdowns. During his one-year stint at prep school Wade was able to take one punt return for a touchdown while hauling in 26 passes for 565 yards and six touchdowns.

"He is good with the ball first of all which is crucial in fielding the ball during punt and kickoff return," Cinkovich said. "He can make the first man miss which is what any great returner can do so it is going to be good because he will create competition."

Funderburk enrolled early at Arkansas having a heralded career at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va. The 6-foot-4 inch receiver is coming off two straight 60-catch, 1,00-yard receiving seasons. Funderburk reeled in 65 catches for 1,464 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010 while being named to VirginiaPreps.com All-State first team.

"He is a young man who wanted to graduate early; had offers from just about everywhere," head coach Bobby Petrino said. "He's big and fast and has excellent hands."

Funderburk's decision to enroll early has allowed the nation's No. 35 receiver according to Scout.com to get adjusted to the routines of being a student-athlete.

"He is in our weight room every day, he is eating at our training table every day, and he is meeting with us," Cinkovich said. "The transition from high school to college in the middle of the year can be tough but you get the advantage of the winter program."

With the five receivers signed in the 2011 class added with the three from the 2010 class, the receiver position depth and competition from spring practice and into fall camp will be one to play itself out. Arkansas returns 170 receptions, 2,890 yards and 23 touchdowns from its to four receivers of Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and Cobi Hamilton combined.

"These young guys, I hope, are being groomed to take jobs as those three seniors graduate," Cinkovich said. "but there is no rule that says they can't go and try to take them right now and that is what we expect them to do. I think it will sort itself out based on the players. That was the idea since the last two years we have signed a great number of receivers."

The three receivers from the 2010 class, Maudrecus Humphrey, Julian Horton and Javontee Herndon, combined for six catches and 117 yards. All three saw their roles increase after the Greg Childs injury as each got a chance to show off an array of skills.

"You never want to get caught when you are top heavy with your depth chart and have nothing behind it," Cinkovich said. "I think we have balanced that out and it is our job to develop these young players."

In addition to Wade and Funderburk three other receivers were signed and will join the Razorbacks in the fall. Forrest City, Ark. receiver Davyon McKinney gives the Razorbacks another long threat with his size of 6-foot-3 inchs and 175 pounds. McKinney caught 21 passes for 453 yards and three touchdowns while also scoring two rushing touchdowns and a 65-yard interception return for a score.

"He is the type of athlete that gives you some versatility whether he is an offensive or defensive player," Petrino said.

Keante Minor and Kane Whitehurst are the other two signees rounding out the receiver class. Minor and Whitehurst are both return game threats as well. Minor took two punt returns for scores during his senior year as Whitehurst helped his Chattahoochee High School team to an unblemished 15-0 record and State Championship will posting 84 catches for 1,378 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"We are very excited to get a young man with that type of speed and athletic ability," Petrino said. "We are very excited to get a young man with that type of speed and athletic ability."

Whitehurst is also the cousin of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.


Hawgs Daily Top Stories