The Razorbacks' coach talked about each player individually. Below are his thoughts.
LB Vin Ascolese: He's a linebacker, 6-3 220, from North Bergen High School in New Jersey, a young man that I think will be a really good player for us. The first thing you see when you see Vince is how fast he is, how well he plays the game. His grandfather was a football coach up there, just retired this year, kind of a legend, and certainly a guy that taught him a lot about the game of football. We really think a lot of Vin."
OL Cordale Boyd: "Cordale is very physical, a guy that came to camp. We liked him in camp, he did a great job while he was here. We kind of treated Memphis different this year. I put Coach Horton in there, I said, ‘Tim, recruit Memphis just like it's the state of Arkansas,' and Tim went in there and did a great job. We basically got three guys out of there, because we feel like D'Arthur Cowan, the wide receiver from just over the border in Mississippi, is part of Memphis."
CB Jared Collins: "Tulsa continues to be a great place for us to go. As you are all aware, we've been treating Tulsa like it's the state of Arkansas for a number of years now. It's great to get another player out of there, and he's a young man that's really fast. He's the length you want, six foot tall, he's got long arms. I had a chance to watch him practice track the other day, and he can really go. He's really fast, and a guy that we know will come in here and be a good player for us."
WR D'Arthur Cowan: "D'Arthur Cowan is a guy that we treated like he was in Memphis. He's been up on our campus a number of times before he decided to commit to us. He's a guy that can really play the game at wide receiver. He's tall, he can jump, he can elevate quick, he's got great hands and really did a great job catching the long ball. Some guys just have that ability to adjust and change their bodies and see where the ball's coming down, and he had a number of big plays, and they won the state championship in Mississippi."
TE Demetrius Dean: "Everybody is aware of Demetrius. He's in school right now, he enrolled in January. We're going to start him off at tight end. He's obviously a tremendous athlete. Great hands, really excited to have him. He has to be one of the leading all-time receivers in the state of Arkansas. I got to watch him play just about every game when he was a sophomore because my son was on the team, and we know he's going to be a good player for us. He kind of has a chance to be in that D.J. Williams mold."
DE Austin Flynn: "When you saw what we were losing in Jake Bequette and you say, ‘Hey, we need to go out and find a guy that can come in and contribute right away,' you almost found the same mold with the size and speed and strength. We're excited about Austin. He's already on campus. He's working hard, already one of our strongest guys in our weight room, and is extremely athletic. The thing that I like about him, he's got great personality. There's probably not a player on our team that doesn't already know him and enjoy being around him."
WR Keon Hatcher: "Keon is just a youngster. He's just 17 years old. He was at camp, and he basically came to camp to earn a scholarship. He did a great job here at camp. As he was driving home, he called us and we offered him a scholarship. He committed to us early, and then he did a great job of holding off the onslaught when other teams came in and tried to get him from us. So a young man that's very physical, really runs well after the catch. If there was one thing you'd say Keon's number one strength is, he's very, very hard to tackle."
WR Eric Hawkins: "The first thing you say about Eric is speed. He's been timed in a 10.38 100-meters. This year he thinks he can get down to 10.2, would like to break 10.2. Our track coach would really like to have him be able to do both. We'll see if that happens when he gets here, but he's very fast and has soft hands. The one thing you worry about with a guy that's that fast is how's he going to catch the ball, but he adjusts well to the ball, and has very, very soft hands."
CB Will Hines: "Will played both corner and safety in high school. He basically was a corner his junior year, they needed him at safety. We're going to start him off at corner. Another six foot corner with great speed. He also played wide receiver. He was committed to another school when Coach (Paul) Haynes got here. Coach Haynes got involved in the recruiting, and we were able to get that changed and he's now coming to play for us."
RB Nate Holmes: "Nate is really a young man that excites me. He was in our camp. His speed, redirection just jumped out at you in camp. He committed to us early. When you watch his video, now really spend some time watching his video, because he's really exciting. He's got great feet, he's really fast. He's a guy that doesn't have to make you call so many plays, because he can go the distance at any time. I'm really excited. I think he'll be a great player for us."
DE Taiwan Johnson: "Taiwan is a very physical player. He played both defensive end and linebacker. He does a great job rushing the passer, also plays the run real well. He was recruited by just about everybody in the country, and we did a great job of getting him here."
DE Brandon Lewis: "Brandon is another one of those guys that when you talk about length and size, and we're trying to move and get longer at the defensive end position, he really helps us do that. He could play outside linebacker. He's big enough and athletic enough to play outside linebacker. He was in our camp, very young. We made a decision to offer him early, he committed to us. I'll tell you what was impressive about Brandon was when I went to watch him play basketball and practice basketball. I think their team at that time was ranked number one in the country in basketball. I think they're number nine right now. He starts on it at power forward, and man can he run up and down the court, get off the ground very quickly and very high. I think he's got a bright, bright future ahead of him. He's just young, I don't know if he's even shaving yet."
S Defonta Lowe: "Defonta played just about everything at Bearden. He was a great quarterback, very, very hard to tackle, made a lot of plays for them. He's another young man that came to camp and said, ‘I'm coming here to show you guys that I'm good enough to get a scholarship.' And he did just that. He played wide receiver, corner and safety at camp. He certainly jumped off the charts at you as far as his competitiveness and his toughness and then went and just had a great year down there, and we're really excited to have him."
LB Otha Peters: "I think Otha will probably have a great chance to come in here and play right away. He's the speed that you need, the combination of strength and speed. He's already physically ready to play, and that gives him an opportunity to play early. Another guy that was committed to another school. Coach (Taver) Johnson and Coach (Kevin) Peoples really got involved in his recruiting, did a great job of getting him and his mother to change their commitment. His mother actually went to the school that we got him to change from, so that's a good job of recruiting by Coach Johnson and Coach Peoples."
DT Darius Philon: "Darius is a young man we've been on the phone with for a long time here in the last two or three days. Coach (Steve) Caldwell has done a great job. He was committed to the University of Alabama. He's a guy that's played both defensive end and defensive tackle. We see him being able to do both; to help us on the edge and also come in and pass rush against guards. He plays the run just as well as he does pass rushing. I think that took us until 2:45 today to get that to come across the fax. We're really fired up about it."
RB Donovan Roberts: "Coach (Tim) Horton went in there and got Donovan out of Oklahoma's home town. We offered him early and he committed to us early. Oklahoma came in and offered him and he held out. He did a great job of fighting them off and sticking to his commitment. He's a guy that really excites you because of his toughness. He's going to make us a tougher team just by the way he plays the game and goes about his business every day. In his junior year, he had a five-overtime game and carried the ball 51 times. So, we know he's durable and very tough."
TE Jeremy Sprinkle: "Jeremy came to our camp. In our first practice we put him at defensive end. The second practice we put him at tight end. The third practice we put him at wide receiver, and he looked good doing all three of them. He's a very good basketball player. He scored 21 points the other night. We're not sure exactly where he's going to play. We're going to start him off at tight end. We also know he can play wide receiver. I guess he would be a taller (TE) Chris Gragg. That's the type of athleticism he has. We're excited to have him."
LB A.J. Turner: "A.J. is a tremendous athlete. He ran around with all these young freshmen on our basketball team. I think him and Ky Madden are really good friends. He grew up playing all kinds of AAU basketball with him. We really feel like he has great development potential ahead of him. Once he quits playing all that basketball, gets in the weight room, gets here for a year or two, he's going to be the weight that you need to play linebacker in the SEC. He already can run and hit. He just needs some pounds on his body. But, he is very impressive on the basketball court also. I think he's on the number one ranked team in the state of Arkansas."
OL Jeremy Ward: "Jeremy is another young man that came to our camp. He was very impressive in camp. He committed to us and it did a great job of recruiting for us. He's got a great personality and really helped in recruiting these other guys to come play for us. We know he's going to be a good football player. He played tackle in high school. We'll move him inside and he'll be either a guard or a center for us."
RB Jonathan Williams: "We're really fired up about Jonathan. At one time, he was committed to another university. We worked hard at that. He came up here for his official visit during one of our home games and basically said that the atmosphere, crowd and everything about our home game was what made the decision for him, it was something he really wants to be a part of. He's a very good running back, very athletic. He'll catch the ball extremely well out of the backfield. He's already bigger than 210 right now. He's already done a great job in the weight room after football season."
WR Demetrius Wilson: "This is a guy I'm really fired up about. When we went out and looked at our receiving corps, we said we needed to get one junior college player. We feel like he is a combination of speed, great hands and be the best route runner that will join us right off the top. He's very polished running his routes, getting in and out of breaks. He played for a guy that I've coached against for a long time. He really knows how to develop wide receivers and really knows a lot about the passing game."
DE Jamichael Winston: "He's another one of those guys that's tall, lean and very fast. He's a very good pass rusher, but one of the things that impresses me most about JaMichael is his ability to play the run and how much he likes defending the run. He uses his hands well. He gets off blocks and can really close. I think if there's one thing that you would say is his best attribute, you'd say he can close on the quarterback and close on the ball carrier. He redirects very well and bends very well."
DE Deatrich Wise Jr.: "This is another young guy that is going to get better and better. He's 6-5, 236. We had him in camp, we offered him early in camp. Coach John L. Smith was one of the first guys to start recruiting him. John L. has had a great track record. He was so young and didn't play a lot during his junior year, but Coach Smith said he was going to be a real good player. He came out in his senior year and had a great year. He's going to do nothing but get better. He's young and has big hands. I think he wears a size 18 or 19 shoe, so he's got great growth potential ahead of him."