Enjoying The Turnaround

Arkansas tight end commitment Deondre Skinner (6-3, 220) of Patterson, La., enjoyed his second live Razorback game this season a lot more than his first.

The second trip to Fayetteville this season was much more visually pleasing for Arkansas tight end pledge Deondre Skinner.

Skinner (6-3, 220) took in the previous Saturday night's rain-shortened 49-7 pasting of Kentucky – a far cry from his first visit.

That was for the Razorbacks' 52-0 loss to Alabama.

"I think we played great Saturday night and you can see the team and the coaches have got things turned back around these last two weeks," Skinner said. "The first of the season was really tough for them, but they didn't quit and I am glad that those guys are going to be my teammates next season."

Skinner and Pulaski Academy tight end Hunter Henry (6-6, 235) will give Arkansas two players expected to contribute immediately next season.

Both are athletic type receivers in the mold of currently injured Arkansas senior star Chris Gragg.

The duo could form a tandem like New England's Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and be on the field a lot at the same time.

"I know the coaches are excited about getting us both up there because they think we are both versatile like he (Gragg) is and going to be able to make a lot of big plays like he has done in his career," Skinner said. "I think it is going to be a big thing for Arkansas to have two play-making tight ends."

Even though he has received a scholarship offer from nearby LSU, Skinner has remained strongly committed to Arkansas.

"I committed to Arkansas, not just the football program, but to the school, the academics and really to the whole community," Skinner said. "It is where I want to spend the next three, four or five years.

"Also with LSU, they just don't use the tight end at all and I know Arkansas has great quarterbacks already there and coming in so Arkansas will keep using the tight end," Skinner added.

Skinner is fully aware that current Arkansas head coach John L. Smith is a fill-in on a 10-month contract and the search is ongoing for a new leader for the football program.

"Arkansas is in the SEC, has great facilities and is about to have even better ones – maybe the best in the country," Skinner said. "We'll get a great coach. I don't think there is any doubt about that and guys like Hunter Henry and myself are coming to help him win the SEC championship and a national championship. They have a lot of great young players, some of them redshirting. We are going to have a lot of talent."

Mississippi State and Arizona State have continued to pursue Skinner.

"I appreciate the interest, but I am going to be a Razorback," said Skinner, who estimates he has 16 catches for 200 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Patterson is 5-3 this season after a 72-0 win Jeanerette last Friday night.

""We are still in position to make the playoffs and make a run.," Skinner said.

Deondre Skinner

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