Peavey's Ready To Lead

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Arkansas 2014 quarterback commit Rafe Peavey about how he is fully committed and how he has himself a list of top prospects that is working on becoming Razorbacks as well.

It came down to something very simple for 2014 Razorback quarterback commit Rafe Peavey of Bolivar, Mo., in terms of his recruitment.

It was something the U.S. Army All-American game selection stressed in the two meetings he had last week with Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema and new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

"From the start to the very end, I've always wanted to be a Razorback," Peavey said. "But with the staff change, I just needed to know that I was Coach Bielema's guy, that I was Coach Chaney's guy. In our meetings last week, they made it very clear that I was. So it was time to just shut everything down, be all in and start being a leader for us in recruiting."

At the end of his visit last Friday and after a tour of the Sam W. Walton College of Business, Peavey was brought into the Broyles Complex museum.

There was Bielema, Chaney and a room full of people first clapping for Peavey and then Calling the Hogs.

"I can't tell you how special that made me feel," Peavey said. "It was amazing."

Peavey (6-2, 209) - who threw for 1,901 yards and 18 touchdowns with just three interceptions and rushed for 595 yards and 13 more scores as a junior - has since dove headlong into recruiting for the Razorbacks.

"With my dad being a former NFL offensive lineman and me sitting in on their meetings when I was young, I know that winning football starts up front on both offense and defense and I have gone to work on some of those guys this week," Peavey said. "I know those guys up front make my job much easier so those are the guys I am going after hard."

That includes St. Louis (Mo.) De Smet Jesuit offensive lineman and current Ole Miss Andy Bauer (6-5, 295), who Peavey knows well and chose the Rebels over Alabama and many others.

"Andy and I are very good friends and I think he is one of the best offensive linemen in the country," Peavey said. "I am in his ear already about coming to Arkansas, where the coaches obviously know what it takes to get to the NFL. I am going to keep working hard on him.

He has a few other top recruits he is digging on like Coppell (Texas) defensive end Solomon Thomas (6-3, 256) and five-star Liberty Eylau wide receiver/safety prospect Davion Hall (6-3, 198).

"Solomon Thomas is one of our top targets and some one who is one of the best in the country at what he does and Davion Hall would give me a vertical threat with big-time play-making ability," Peavey said. "I am going to do my part to be a leader for us on and off the field and that starts with helping us get the best guys in the country to Arkansas."

When Peavey committed to Arkansas in the summer of 2012, he had just four scholarship offers from Arkansas, UCLA, Missouri and Ole Miss.

When he ended his recruiting process last Friday, that number had leaped to 29.

"It was amazing how things got going," Peavey said. "I thought when I committed to Arkansas that the offers would quit coming, but it was exactly the opposite. They just started coming all the time.

"With the staff change at Arkansas, I talked to my dad and thought that I just needed to be very sure of my decision," Peavey added. "I had so many opportunities that so many other young men do not have and I just feel very blessed by God.

"In the end, Arkansas was just the best place for me," Peavey continued. "I wanted to be honest with the other schools and thank them for taking such an interest in me, but Arkansas is where I am meant to be."

Peavey is a four-star prospect in three of the four main recruiting services while has him as a three-star prospect.

He is understandably miffed by the lower ranking from the analysts.

"I guess it is because of the height thing, but that is just going to be fuel my fire to prove them wrong," Peavey said. "I will just use it as positive motivation."

In fact, he points to current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson – who played his final year of college football for Bielema at Wisconsin – as a role model of his.

"Russell Wilson is the quarterback I look up to the most because he is shorter, but I think he shows it is about doing the best with what you can control and being the best you can on every play," Peavey said.

Wilson set a Wisconsin record with 33 touchdown passes his senior season for the Badgers while passing for 3,175 yards and completing 72 percent of his passes.

Those 33 touchdown passes were the second most in Big 10 history behind Purdue's Drew Brees (39).

Bielema coached Wilson, Chaney coached Brees – something that hasn't gone unnoticed by Peavey.

"I had the chance to talk to Coach Bielema and Coach Chaney about where we are headed with the offense," Peavey said. "Obviously Coach Bielema has run the ball more in the past where Coach Chaney has passed it more. I think we are going to have a really nice mix of both."

Peavey excelled in Elite 11 camps in Dallas and Chicago this spring.

"I have always been known for my accuracy, but the scouts were all talking about my arm strength, especially after the camp in Chicago," Peavey said. "That was great to hear."

Peavey and his Boliver squad will be part of a talent-laden field scheduled for the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 tournament at Shiloh Christian on July 12-13.

It is a real learning process this off-season for the Conquistadors.

"We have a lot of great guys coming back on defense, but I lost all of my offensive line, my two wide receivers and my running back so we are starting all over on offense," Peavey said. "So that means right now we have a lot of young guys on offense I am trying to be a leader and show these guys what it takes to play varsity football."

Rafe Peavey

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