Florida prep tight end Ravian Pierce had a funny feeling when Arkansas fans starting Calling the Hogs right before the Razorbacks came onto the field for their game Saturday night with No. 10 Texas A&M.
"Man, that sent a chill down my spine," noted Pierce, who was on his official visit to Arkansas. "That was one of the coolest things I have every experienced. It made me want to run out there on the field and play right away for the fans."
Pierce (6-4, 225) – who was a teammate of current Razorback freshman tailback Alex Collins last season at Plantation High – is a four-star prospect and the 10th-best tight end in the country according to Scout.com.
He raved about his weekend in Fayetteville and head coach Bret Bielema's program.
"It was just a great visit, a great visit and I loved everything about Fayetteville – the coaches, the players, the facilities and the fans," Pierce said. "Everything just stood out. They are my number one school. Just wished Arkansas could have come back and won the game."
Collins (SEC-leading 597 yards rushing this season) – carried the ball 14 times for 116 yards in the loss with Pierce – who has offers from Alabama and Florida among some 20-plus offers - cheering him on.
"He's doing great and he is just going to keep getting better and better," Pierce said. "He runs the ball so hard and makes great cuts."
Pierce said that Bielema and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge – who actually graduated from Plantation – are tops in his his book.
"They are not only great coaches, but great guys and I know I would love playing for them," Pierce said.
Collins is one of several true freshmen playing key roles for Arkansas – a list includes starters in tight end Hunter Henry and both guards in Denver Kirkland and Dan Skipper.
Other true freshmen including defensive back D.J. Dean, tailback Korliss Marshall, wide receiver Drew Morgan and linebacker Brooks Ellis have also seen snaps this season.
"He (Collins) loves it in Fayetteville and he thinks I will as well," Pierce said. "He told me - and you could see in the game - that they will play freshmen if they come ready to play. I certainly saw that Saturday."
Pierce also saw Arkansas throw the ball toward tight ends Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle.
"Everybody wants the ball," Pierce said. "I can tell Arkansas loves to throw it to the tight end."
Pierce had said he might commit to Arkansas on the trip, but that didn't happen while he was in Fayetteville.
He might take a couple of more trips before announcing a public pledge.
"Before I talk about that I want to talk to Coach B one more time," Pierce said.
Plantation (3-1) was off last week enabling Pierce to make the trip to Arkansas and will be battle Hollywood Hills this weekend.
"It was nice to be able to get to Fayetteville and check everything out," Pierce said. "Now I know why the coaches are so excited about what they are building."
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