Arkansas 2014 linebacker pledge Khalia Hackett thinks only one thing could have made his official visit to Arkansas better last weekend.
"I loved everything about it," Hackett said. "I loved the fans, I loved the school and I loved the defense and how the linebackers were flying around making plays. I can't wait to get up there and fly around with them. I would have loved to have been out there Saturday doing just that."
Hackett (6-3, 215) – a Georgia prep star who plays for Douglasville South Paulding – had committed to Arkansas without even visiting campus.
"I am even more committed – if that is possible – now that I have had a chance to get to Fayetteville and check out Arkansas," Hackett said. "I just loved everything about it and know it is the right place and just perfect for me."
That began with the commitment to education that Arkansas showed Hackett – who had 16 tackles in his season opener - over the weekend.
"You can go anywhere and play football, but the most important thing is to go to a place that you can get your education and put yourself in line to be successful after football or if football doesn't work out," Hackett said. "That was clear to me about Arkansas.
"They have so many tutors and such a concentration on education that the only way you could fail is if you just don't put any effort into it at all," Hackett said. "That won't be a problem with me."
Hackett – who has moved from safety to linebacker this season for South Paulding (2-0) - also got his first taste of Arkansas fans Friday night when he and the other three official visitors took in the Catfish Hole restaurant.
"That was just great and a crazy, crazy time," Hackett said. "The fans are crazy in a good kind of way. They love their football team and put all the support behind it. I was amazed and happy about it and I can't wait to play for those fans."
Obviously, he also got to take in Arkansas' 24-3 win over Southern Mississippi on Saturday and liked what he saw from the Razorback defense.
"The defense played great and they did not let Southern Miss into the end zone," Hackett said. "That's the goal of any defense."
He was impressed with Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon, who used to be the head coach at Miami and coached NFL stars Ray Lewis and Ed Reed among others.
"The thing that has impressed me the most about Coach Shannon is that he is great at communicating what you need to do while just keeping it very simple," Hackett said. "That's obviously worked very well for him as he has coached some of the best defensive guys that have ever played. I can't wait to have him coach me."
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