Springing Forward

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with Arkansas recruiting coordinator Tim Horton about the football program's plans for spring recruiting. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

Spring football practice is slated to start in Fayetteville on March 15, but the Arkansas coaches are getting plenty done on the 2012 recruiting trail before and after that date.

That excites Razorback recruiting coordinator Tim Horton.

"Between this weekend and our spring game on April 16, we will have several of our top prospects on our campus and they'll have a chance to see what our program is all about," Horton said. "It is a wonderful opportunity for us to put our best foot forward."

That was not the case during the 2011 snowstorm that hit Fayetteville right after national signing date. The snow nixed the arrival of several recruits who were invited to watch a Razorback basketball game and tour campus.

"One thing that did hurt us was that we were supposed to have some athletes on campus right after signing date, but those scheduled visits got wiped out by the snow," Horton said. "But we'll make the best of it and have time now to get some of these guys up and show them around."

Coming off a BCS bowl berth, Arkansas expects to have a banner 2012 recruiting campaign.

"We think that our success last season is going to show up in this year's recruiting," Horton said. "There's no guessing what we are capable of now. It's right there before them, how good this program can be."

Arkansas already has a pair of 2012 commits in Warren wide receiver Jalen Cobb (6-1, 180) and Pottsville offensive lineman Jeremy Ward (6-4, 275).

Ward, who was offered by LSU last week, recently took in the Arkansas-Kentucky basketball game on an unofficial visit.

"Why shop when you already know what you want," Ward told Scout.com when he said he was firmly committed to Arkansas. "LSU offered me and I am appreciative of the opportunity to play there, but I am already committed to Arkansas."

The Razorbacks have also offered two other in-state prospects in Jonesboro wide receiver Zac Brooks (6-2, 180) and East Poinsett County linebacker A.J. Turner (6-2, 200).

All four of those players will be among a large group of invited guests to Fayetteville in early April.

"We are going to have an official Junior Day on April 2 and then have more prospects up for our spring game on April 16," Horton said. "It will give us a good chance for them to see us work out and that's always helpful for a recruit – to see just what we get accomplished at a practice."

Soon after the 15 spring practices are over, the Arkansas coaches will hit the road for the spring evaluation period. It appears that will happen the last week of April and the first three weeks of May.

The Razorbacks already have some 60 offers out there for the 2012 class and there will be more after the evaluation period.

The big list will be culled to a manageable amount, but there also will be some new names added.

"Basically we can have seven coaches out at a time and we can be out for four weeks," Horton said. "That's when we really get a chance to look the recruits over and see who are the prospects and who are the suspects. It is a big key in recruiting."

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