Pondering His Decision

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Weed (CA) College of the Siskiyous linebacker Myke Tavarres (6-2, 223) - who is no longer as certain as he once was about his pledge to sign with Arkansas.

As someone who has covered recruiting for 27 years now for the Northwest Arkansas Times and Hawgs Illustrated, I have had a lot of interesting Novembers, Decembers, Januarys and Februarys.

But I am pretty sure that this is going to be the most interesting four months of my career when it comes to follow Razorback football recruiting.

Odds are stacked that most – if not all – of the current Razorback coaching staff will be replaced by a new staff with a new head coach expected to be named in early December.

That new head coaching staff will have the challenge of both keeping and adding on to the current list of 16 commitments in the 2013 class.

That list is down one pledge from Monday when Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Hamilton safety Dominique Alexander (6-2, 200) flipped from the Razorbacks to Oklahoma.

On Thursday came word that Pulaski Academy tight end Hunter Henry (6-6, 235) is going to take an official visit to Alabama this weekend and that Razorback junior college linebacker pledge Myke Tavarres (6-2, 223) will take at least one other official visit.

Tavarres is one of four mid-term graduates currently committed to Arkansas and those student-athletes have a quicker final decision deadline than most recruits.

His reasoning sounds almost identical to Alexander, who de-committed from Arkansas and committed to Oklahoma later in the day.

"I am actually going to take another official visit and I am trying to decide whether to visit Texas A&M or Arizona," Tavarres said. "I love Arkansas, I love the fans, I love the University of Arkansas and I really loved the coaches, who were the main reason that I committed to Arkansas.

"But now it is looking like those coaches are not going to be there and I have to think about the situation," Tavarres added. "Is the new guy going to play me if I am not one of his guys? Does he see me as a starter or not? Do I fit his scheme?

"All of that is something that I have to take into account as I only have two years left to play," Tavarres continued. "I can't afford to go somewhere that I would be sitting the bench because I was not one of the new coach's guys."

Unlike Alexander, Tavarres is not planning to make a new decision before the new coach is named and has a chance to talk to him.

"I hope it all works out with Arkansas because they is where I want to end up," Tavarres said. "But I have to be honest with what is going through my head right now."

Tavarres and Weed (CA) College of the Siskiyous (9-1) just finished up a Mid-Empire Conference Championship by downing Feather River 43-27.

It was the eighth straight win for the Eagles after a loss to Butte (20-6) on Sept. 8.

"We got together after that loss and said we are not going to lose again," said Tavarres, whose team is waiting to hear what bowl it will be in.

Tavarres has a team-leading 68 tackles – accomplished in eight games – with 8 ½ tackles for lost yardage

He also had a sack, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, four pass break-ups and two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns.

"Everything just really came together for us." Tavarres said. "We knew what we wanted and we really became one unit. We did it as a team."


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