In preparation for the release of our Top 33 in-state college football prospects of 2012 in the June edition of Hawgs Illustrated, I have poured over plenty of video and done a lot of research.
It is something I always enjoy, a labor of love if you will and I always feel like I know so much more about the class when all is said and done.
Of course, I always have that couple of weeks when a parent or coach informs me just what an idiot I am for not having their kid either in the rankings or higher in the rankings.
I make the list by talking to high school and college coaches, recruiting writers, taking in the data of different organizations, etc.
But in the end, I put my name to it so it is truly my rankings.
The 2012 class in Arkansas has great depth. Pretty easy to get the top 10 right, but the difference in 11 to 33 was very slim.
For that matter so was 11 to 65, which was the number that I first started working with.
It ended up – as it almost always does – like the NCAA tournament bubble. I had 10 players vying for the last 5 spots.
One must admit that while finishing up the 2012 preseason rankings, I couldn't help but take a peek at the 2013 ones.
Well, already two players in that class – Pulaksi Academy tight end-defensive end Hunter Henry (6-5, 235) and North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny (5-11, 200. 4.35) have Arkansas offers and national buzz about them.
Both of those young men got their offers from Arkansas in the last two weeks and both have a chance to be 5-star prospects when it is all said and done.
Henry, the son of former Razorback Mark Henry, now has offers from the Razorbacks, Auburn and Ole Miss.
Tenpenny, blessed with that blazing 4.35 speed, rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and now has offers from Arkansas and Ole Miss.
He has become a spring sensation by jumping off the page at a Nike SPARQ combine with his speed, a 37-inch vertical jump, a bench press of 265 and a shuttle time of 4.15.
It's a class that has already shown it will have some others likely to land a bevy of offers in tailbacks Te'arrius Wallace of Bentonville, Jamar Criswell (offers from Kansas State and Arkansas State) of Morrilton, and Korliss Marshall of Osceola, Fayetteville quarterback Austin Allen (a Tulsa offer in the bag) and Searcy offensive lineman Javion Clifton (6-4, 300).
While the depth of the class is yet to be determined, it's clear that the top of the list is going to be as loaded as the 2008 one that has sparked Arkansas on to such success recently on the football field.
All that means is Bobby Petrino and his staff are going to have some fertile ground to work with in their own state as he tries to take the program to the top of the SEC – and thus the country.
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