Committed Cornelius

Arkansas 2014 wide receiver commit Jared Cornelius (6-2, 190, 4.4) - a mid-term graduate - stressed Tuesday night that his pledge to the Razorbacks is unwavering and he will arrive in Fayetteville in January with a plan to have an immediate impact next season.

It may sound strange to some Arkansas football fans, but the Razorbacks' recent struggles have only solidified the commitment status of one of the 2014 classes playmakers.

Shreveport, La., Evangel Christian wide receiver Jared Cornelius (6-2, 190, 4.4) – is a mid-term graduate and will go through 2014 spring practice with Arkansas - made that very clear Tuesday night.

That certainly should excite Razorback fans coming from a speedy prospect that has caught passes for over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons.

"I know the coaches, the players and the fans are all very frustrated right now because of what is going on and I feel for those coaches and players," Cornelius said. "And I am feeling for those guys.

"But I didn't make my decision on what was going to happen this year," Cornelius added. "I don't know anyone who thought it was going to be a great year because they are clearly rebuilding.

"I made my decision to go to Arkansas because I believe in these coaches and what they are building and I want to be a part of that," Cornelius continued. "I want to be a part of building something special, be a part of a legacy of bringing the Razorbacks back."

Cornelius chose Arkansas over co-finalist Missouri as well as Auburn, Baylor, Tennessee, Tulsa, San Diego State, Louisiana Tech and Houston.

Missouri and others have kept after him, but he is solidly a Razorback per the young man and Evangel head coach Byron Dawson.

"He is such a high-character kid, a great student and someone who even leads our praise and worship team," Dawson said. "You just couldn't ask for a better kid and a better leader – both vocally and my his actions – for our football team.

"He is also mature beyond his years," Dawson added. "Missouri is having a great year and Arkansas is struggling and Missouri has stayed after him. But he has politely told them he is going to be a Razorback.

"He sees the bigger picture better than most young men his age," Dawson continued. "He believes in the coaches at Arkansas, what they stand for and not only what they are building, but how they are building it. He wants to be part of the solution to the problem."

Cornelius has caught 44 passes for 620 yards with 7 touchdowns so far this season for Eagles (5-1, 2-0).

He also took a 52-yard punt return to the house in a 63-12 rout of Green Oaks two weeks ago to open District 1-3A action.

"You think about those numbers and they are even more impressive when you realize how he has been double- and triple-teamed for most of the season," Dawson said. "He's just a big-time playmaker and is just a blessing for a coach and certainly for this football team."

Cornelius caught 87 passes for over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with a school-record 341 of those yards coming against Barbe.

"We may be a little bit biased, but we truly believe he is one of the best wide receivers – if not the best one - in the state this season," Dawson said. "I think he proved that when he went to (LSU head coach) Les Miles' camp and showed what he could do against the best of the best they had there.

"He also showed that at Arkansas and Missouri and that is why those two schools wanted him so much as well as all the others," Dawson added. "But, like I said earlier, he believes in the Arkansas coaches and his intention to be a Razorback is without doubt."

Cornelius will have the chance to get a head start on most of the 2014 recruiting class because of his decision to be a mid-graduate.

"It was something that I gave a lot of thought," Cornelius said. "I could stay here with my friends and do all the senior stuff or I could get a head start on my college career.

"In the end, it was an easy choice because I want to get there and go through off-season conditioning and spring practice and make the biggest impact I can right away," Cornelius added. "I am coming in to help right away and I am going to work hard to make sure that happens."

While he has blazing speed, Cornelius says he will not be satisfied with just being labeled a deep threat.

"Yes, I can get deep with my speed and I know that will happen, but I don't want to just be known as the deep guy," Cornelius said. "I want to be the guy that the quarterback thinks of be it deep or being a possession guy. I want him to know that when he throws me the ball – no matter where – I am going to make the catch for him."

Cornelius is one of three Arkansas wideout pledges along with the Geismar, La., Dutchtown duo of Corey McBride (6-3, 180) and Torrance Mosley (5-10, 175).

He will join Arkansas 2014 quarterback commit Rafe Peavey (6-2, 212) as mid-term graduates who will enroll in classes in Fayetteville in January.

"I don't know the other two receivers that well because I was leaving the Arkansas camp for another when they were arriving," Cornelius said. "But I did get to know Rafe and know he feels the same way I do.

"That's we want to come help right away and be leaders in this recruiting class that is going to help Arkansas turn this around," Cornelius said. "That is going to be such a rewarding feeling when it happens and it will."

Jared Cornelius

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