Head Hunter

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Missouri prep linebacker Nick Ramirez, who is one of 20-plus prospects visiting Arkansas this weekend for its second Junior Day. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers.

Lee's Summit (MO) West defender Nick Ramirez (6-2, 230) not only looks like a middle linebacker, but sounds like one.

Asked to assess his strengths earlier this week, he didn't disappoint.

"I'm a head hunter," Ramirez said. "I love to hit, I love contact. I can't get enough of it. I think I am fast and able to cover side to side and also feel like I am a good pre-reader of the play and good about getting to the the guy with the ball and inflicting damage."

Ramirez – who will be a 2012 mid-term graduate and attended the Razorbacks' win over South Carolina last season - is one of 20 or so prospects due in this Saturday for Arkansas' Junior Day.

He is coming off a junior season in which he had 120 tackles.

Ramirez has already been to Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska and will follow up the Arkansas trip with ones during his spring break to Purdue and Northwestern.

All of those schools have offered - as well as Kansas State - except for Arkansas, who he hopes will put one on the table for him this weekend.

"When I came for the Arkansas-South Carolina game, I just immediately fell in love with Arkansas' program," Ramirez said. "I loved the atmosphere, the players and the coaches and all the support the fans give the program.

"They also have great facilities and they are going to get even better with the ones they are building," Ramirez said. "And it goes without saying they are one of the best programs in the country. I would love to be a part of that."

Ramirez, who is looking to study criminal justice or business in college, plans to make a decision sooner than later.

"I may take a few official visits or I may make a decision before my senior season starts," Ramirez said. "I am very blessed to being making all these visits and learning a lot about each of these programs. I think I am getting some very good information about all of them."

Ramirez is also working on improving his speed, which is 4.57 in the 40-yard dash right now.

He runs the 100 meter dash and the 200 in track.

"I really want to work hard and improve my speed," Ramirez said. "I think it is good now, but I want it to be great. I am also working with a personal trainer and just trying to become the best football player I can be."

Eric Beisel , MLB, 6-3, 235, Fenton (MO) Rockwood Summit

• Zach Benjamin, WR, 6-5, 182, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic

Austin Bennett, WR, 6-0, 170, Manvel, Texas

Kaleb Blanchard, TB, 6-1, 200, Denham Springs, La.

• Bryton Booher, OT, 6-8, 275, Conway

Dylan Cantrell, WR, 6-2, 195, Whitehouse, Texas

Cameron Dillard, OT, 6-3, 280, Canton (MI) Plymouth Canton

Ezekiel Elliott, TB, 6-0, 195, St. Louis John Burroughs

Connor Feist, QB, 6-2, 180, Houston (Texas) Langham Creek

C.J. Gooden, LB, 6-1, 205, Ashdown

Richard Lagow, QB, 6-6, 218, Plano, Texas

• Stockton Mallett, OL, 6-3, 305, Yellville-Summit

Christian Morgan, TE, 6-4, 244, Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian

• Nick Ramirez, MLB, 6-2, 230, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West

• Jason Reese, WR, 6-3, 195, Euless (Texas) Trinity

Keree Renchie, LB, 6-3, 215, Missouri City (Texas) Elkins

• Maurice Smith, CB, 6-1, 175, Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles

Altee Tenpenny, RB, 6-0, 203, North Little Rock

Dalton Vondra, TE, 6-5, 240, Kennedale, Texas

Tearris Wallace, RB, 5-10, 185, Bentonville

Jordan Wilkins, TB, 6-0, 205, Cordova (TN) St Benedict At Auburndale

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