Van (Texas) High middle linebacker Dalton Santos is a Tennessee commitment who absolutely loved his official visit to Arkansas this weekend and now finds the team he grew up loving – Texas – showing up late on his doorstep.
Such is life for Santos (6-3, 250), the nation's fourth-best middle linebacker prospect and a four-star prospect according to Scout.com.
"Man, this is going to be a tough, tough decision for me," Santos said Sunday night. "I consider myself a Vol now, but Arkansas has given me so much to think about. I loved every minute of the 48 hours or so I was on campus this weekend. It was great. I can't say enough great things about Arkansas and I can really see myself playing there."
The scholarship offer from Texas actually came Saturday night while Santos – who had 99 tackles this past season including 19 for lost yardage, was still on his visit to Arkansas.
"Here comes Texas late and wants me to come take a visit," Santos said. "It is the team I grew up cheering for and loving and it's a great place. But I don't know about going there now. It's kind of late in the process and I don't know how I am going to fit in down there.
"The one thing that I do know is that I am very comfortable with the coaches at both Arkansas and Tennessee and that's a big, big factor for me," Santos continued. "Those coaches have been recruiting me for so long and that means a lot to me."
Santos had already been to Fayetteville for the Razorbacks' Red-White game last spring.
"Arkansas' game-day atmosphere is amazing," Santos said. "I really enjoy it when I was there and that just carried over to this weekend. The fans are just the best, so supportive of their team and I loved being around the players and the coaches again."
Santos got a chance this weekend to be around new Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes and new linebacker coach Taver Johnson, who Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino hired away from Ohio State.
"I have a great relationship with those guys because they have been recruiting me all along from when they were at Ohio State," Santos said. "It was great to see them again. Those guys are great and are really defensive gurus that know what they are doing. I know I would love playing for those guys.
"I also really love what Coach Petrino is doing at Arkansas," Santos added. "Arkansas is already one of the top programs in the country, a top five one and is just going to keep getting better. It's a fantastic place and they really have got it going on."
Asked about the possibility to play early at the three places, Santos confidently said that would not be a factor in his decision.
"Well, I don't know what is the situation at Texas yet, but I do know that the opportunity to come in and play at Arkansas and Tennessee is certainly there," Santos said.
"But it really doesn't matter to me who is at the three schools because I am not afraid of competition and never have been," Santos added. "I plan to do the same thing in college that I did in high school and that is try to become the best linebacker out there. I have a drive and a work ethic that allows me to have confidence in myself and my ability."
There was a report from a Tennessee fan website that noted Santos' parents had told Arkansas that he definitely will not coming to Fayetteville.
"I just heard about that and I don't know where that is coming from, but I can assure you that Arkansas is very much alive and I am still definitely considering being a Razorback," Santos said. "I don't know who my parents talk to all the time, but to say Arkansas is out is just not true. Not at all."
Santos will take the visit to Texas and then come back and set down with his family and make his choice.
He noted that Texas was four hours or so from Van, Arkansas six hours and Tennessee some 13 hours.
"I feel so blessed to have so many options, so many great options," Santos said. "Whether it's Arkansas, Texas or Tennessee, I can't really go wrong. It's going to be hard, but I am sure the right choice will come to me."
Arkansas Wows Santos
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Cats Picked To Win SEC CrownThe voters at SEC Media Days are convinced: Kentucky has reloaded.
AllWildcatsWednesday at 10:13 AM
Arkansas On Game Days | Tailgate TravelsAs much fun as it is being at an Arkansas football game, the pregame can be just as enjoyable, especially if you have an RV. Head out to Fayetteville to see what makes the…
Scout CFBFriday at 9:20 AM
"They Are Playing Really Good Football"Arkansas Coaches Bret Bielema and Dan Enos talk about facing Auburn this weekend and the challenges that presents for the Razorbacks.
Inside The AU TigersWednesday at 9:26 AM
Scout's Top 25 Recruiting ClassesScout has a new top school in the recruiting rankings. Take a look at capsules for the top 25 classes in the country, including a new number one.
Scout FootballMonday at 10:20 AM
Scout 2017 Rankings DirectoryThe Scout positional, state, regional, national and team rankings for the Class of 2017...
Scout FootballMonday at 7:00 AM