Springdale Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier has definite plans for what he and fellow Arkansas standouts Bijhon Jackson of El Dorado and Kavin Alexander of North Little Rock are going to accomplish at The Opening.
"We are going to show up and show out," Frazier said. "We are going to go represent Arkansas to the best of our ability and let them know what kind of football we play here in our state."
Frazier (6-4, 332), Razorback pledge Jackson (6-2, 320) and Alexander (5-9, 180) are part of 150-plus players that were invited to The Opening, Nike's prestigious camp that begins Sunday in Eugene, Oregon.
"It is a great honor for all three of us to be invited to compete with the top players in the country," Frazier said. "We are all three taking it very seriously and going to compete at the highest level possible."
Frazier is regarded as a four-star prospect by Scout.com, the nation's fifth-best defensive tackle and the 87th best prospect overall nationally and like Jackson will play in the U.S. Army All American game.
He has over a dozen offers, but has narrowed his final five to Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and USC.
"I feel very blessed to have so many opportunities that a lot of kids my age don't and I don't take it for granted," Frazier said. "That's why I am just trying to take the time and make the right decision."
Frazier, who lives 15 minutes from the Arkansas campus, is obviously a high priority recruit for the Razorbacks and head Coach Bret Bielema.
He had 67 tackles last season, including 12 for list yardage and six sacks as a junior.
"I love the new Arkansas coaching staff and they have done a great job of making me feel wanted and needed," Frazier said. "They really want to have Bijohn and I as a big 1-2 punch for the defense for future and it is certainly something that I am thinking about.
"I talk to Coach Bielema a lot and like the fact that he is a real guy and love the way they are recruiting me," Frazier added.
Frazier admits the recruiting process can be a bit annoying at times.
"It's kind of the same thing almost everywhere you go," Frazier said. "You visit, the school tells you how great you are, how big your muscles are, how you are going to be the greatest thing and then they put you in a jersey to show you what you would look like as one of their players.
"That's really not what I am about," Frazier said. "I want them to talk to me the person, not just the football player. I really appreciate how Arkansas coaches do that. They want to get to know me, not the football player.
"People have the wrong idea about me and recruiting," Frazier continued. "The fact that schools have offered me scholarships and want me is flattering, but I am not trying to draw this out and bring all this attention to myself. That's not who I am."
Some Razorback fans have let it be known how much they want him to go ahead and commit to Arkansas and a few have expressed displeasure at him that he hasn't gone ahead and done so.
"Arkansas has great fans and they want me to do like Bijohn and just go ahead and commit right now and yes, a few have let me know they are upset," Frazier said. "I am just looking at the situation and seeing what is going to happen at Arkansas first."
Frazier went on to explain that he is not looking for the Razorbacks to win a certain amount of games, but looking more for stability in the program and hope for major success during his time there.
"You've got to remember that I live what here and have seen everything that has happened," Frazier said. "Arkansas has had like three coaches in less than a year with Coach Bielema, John L. Smith and Coach Petrino.
"That's a lot of change in just a few months and it makes you wonder what is going to happen now," Frazier added. "I think Arkansas has a great coaching staff now and I think that things are going to be okay there.
"I am going to be there on the sidelines this year – just like I have been in the past - at a lot of games and I will be able to see up close how things develop," Frazier continued. "It's not winning a certain amount of games, it's about will they be ready to be back competing at the highest level while I am there.
"Being a part of a winner is big to me," Frazier added. "That's a big part of my decision."
Frazier has had the opportunity to visit Texas A&M, Alabama and Auburn this summer.
"The Texas A&M trip was kind of something that came together quick because we had to go to a funeral about an hour from there," Frazier said. "So we just went over and visited.
"It was a pretty cool," Frazier said. "I got to tour the campus, get my picture taken with the Heisman Trophy and see Johnny Football's locker. I had no idea (Aggie quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner) Johnny Manziel wears size 16 shoes."
"We got back to Arkansas and only got to sleep a few hours before we headed out to Alabama for a visit and then I went to Auburn from there," Frazier added. "It allowed me to get a good look at those two schools."
That means Frazier has had a look at all of his five schools except USC.
"I definitely want to visit there obviously before I make my decision because I have been to the other four places that I am looking at," Frazier said. "I don't know when right now, might have to be on an official trip."
Frazier thinks it's funny that fans over-react when seeing his mom wear Arkansas, USC or Texas A&M shirts.
"Fans look at every little thing for some clues, but there are none in what she wears or what I wear," Frazier said. "She likes all the schools I like. She would love me to stay and play for Arkansas because it is close to Arkansas. She would be fine with Texas A&M because we have family.
"It's going to be my decision and she's going to be fine with any of the schools," Frazier added. "I don't know where I am going yet. I really don't so everyone that is speculating is just guessing with no real evidence. They can't know where I am going if I don't know where I am going."
When might that decision come?
"I really don't know," Frazier said. "I guess it could go until January or February, but if I wake up and feel comfortable with one school one day I'll just go ahead and commit. I don't really have a set plan right now."
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