Wanted: Defensive Playmakers

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about how Arkansas has targeted several junior college standouts such as defensive end Austin Flynn, defensive tackle Mike Pennel and cornerback Mohammed Seisay - all who would have immediate impacts. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers.

Listen to any radio sports call in show, peruse a message board or drop into a coffee shot and there seems to be one central theme regarding Arkansas football.

That is, to take the next step – which is obviously winning a national title - the Razorback staff must go out and get the same type of defensive playmakers that they have on offense.

It seems that is a message that head coach Bobby Petrino has been stressing while hitting the West Coast hard this week.

He's landed a huge defensive tackle in Scottsdale (AZ) Community College's Mike Pennel (6-5, 345) on Wednesday night and is bringing in Los Angeles (CA) Harbor defensive end Austin Flynn (6-5, 255, 4.55) this weekend for an official visit.

Petrino also has made contact with Eastern Arizona ball-hawking cornerback Mohammed Seisay (6-2, 200) and is known to be looking for an older linebacker that could provide an impact right away.

"Coach Petrino told me that Arkansas is just a couple of real good defensive players away from winning the national title," Seisay said. "He said he wants me to be one of those."

Petrino and assistant Chris Klenakis visited Pennel on Wednesday and he was a Razorback later in the day.

Flynn got a visit from Petrino and defensive coordinator Willy Robinson on Thursday afternoon.

"Coach Petrino and Coach Robinson just did a great job in talking to me about more than just football," Flynn said Thursday night. "They went over everything I needed to know about academics, the atmosphere of Fayetteville and the fan support that the Razorbacks get.

"Their visit really got even more excited about Arkansas," Flynn said. "I am really feeling Arkansas right now."

Flynn – the only official visitor Arkansas is scheduled to have this weekend - and his dad will arrive in Fayetteville on Friday night and spend the weekend looking over what the Razorback program has to offer.

The defensive end – who had 11 sacks and 21 quarterback hurries this season – is scheduled to visit Oklahoma on Dec. 9-11 and Oregon State the following weekend.

"I'm just trying to make the best decision, but I am really like what I am hearing from the Arkansas coaches," Flynn said.

Pennel, who took his official visit to Arkansas during the Razorbacks' 49-7 hammering of Tennessee back on Nov. 5th, certainly is a good start to closing the gap.

He had 37 tackles this season, including 13 for lost yardage and a pair of sacks this past season.

Seisay, a Virginia native, played at Memphis his freshman season before transferring away to Eastern Arizona.

He has already visited Indiana and Nebraska officially, trekked to Arizona State unofficially and has visits set for Florida State and Arkansas on Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18.

Both he and Flynn are mid-term grads while Pennel's status is up in the air on whether he will be able to come in during January and go through spring practice.

Arkansas is also likely to hear the decision of two players next week as Florida prep cornerback Chris Bivins will announce his decision Monday and Scottsdale tight end Blake Jackson on Wednesday.

Both have already taken official visits to Arkansas.

Austin Flynn

Mike Pennel

Mohammed Seisay

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