Going Camping

In his weekly column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Arkansas recruiting coordinator Tim Horton about the upcoming Razorback football camp that begins on Sunday. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers.

A record number of football players are expected to roll into Fayetteville on Sunday as the first Arkansas football camp of the year gets underway.

"We are very pleased about the response from the kids and excited to get out and work with them the next few days," Arkansas recruiting coordinator Tim Horton said. "We want know the final numbers until we add in the walk ups on Sunday, but it's better than it has ever been."

Going 21-5 the past two seasons, finishing in the top five in the country and having what is expected to be one of the nation's top programs this season all factor into that according to Horton.

"It starts with the success that we have had as a program and also I think it has to do with how hands on our coaches are," Horton said. "We don't just stand around. We get in there, work hard and try to make it is close to a practice as we come."

While there will be more elite campers at the July 21st one-day camp, there will be some prospects on hand Sunday through Tuesday that are being evaluated by the Razorbacks.

One of those is Bolivar (MO) junior quarterback Rafe Peavey (6-2, 205), who took an unofficial visit to Arkansas on Wednesday and will be back for at least a day during this camp.

It's expected that he will become the Razorbacks' first 2014 commit during or right after the camp.

"We have several kids that might be coming in for just Sunday night or just Monday or can only be here on Tuesday," Horton said. "But the chance to get to see them practice and move around really helps us in the evaluation process."

Another young player Arkansas is eying is Monticello tight end Will Gragg (6-3, 245), the younger brother of current Razorback tight end Chris Gragg.

Arkansas will likely be taking a long look at some of the 2012 offensive linemen in camp such as Conway's Bryton Booher (6-8, 275) and Yellville-Summit's Stockton Mallett (6-3, 312), the cousin of former Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Lake Hamilton's Trey Martin (6-3, 280) is another in-state offensive lineman the Razorbacks are evaluating.

The Razorback already have seven pledges for the 2013 class - including Friday night commit Khari Harding - a safety from Edmond (OK) Santa Fe.

They hosted a pair of 2013 Missouri prep stars Friday in Kansas City Rockhurst guard Zach Hannon (6-5, 300) and Lee's Summit Wesr defensive end Jamone Boyd (6-4, 245).

"We are very excited about the number of commitments that we have now and it's the same as we had around this time last season," Horton said. "We think we will get a few more very soon and feel really good about where we are going to be as we head into the season."

The Razorbacks, who have issued some 150 offers in the 2013 recruiting classes, are coming off a five-week period where the assistant coaches were able to be on the road.

Now they are back in the office, going over those evaluations, ranking the positions and the priorities after turning an initial list of thousands of prospect into one that know just includes hundreds.

"It was really a great time for us and we were able to learn so much," Horton said. "Now we are back together and able to identify the best fits for our particular needs. It went great for us and all of our coaches worked hard and really had a hunger to make sure we got all the information we needed."

Will Gragg

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