Ramirez to the Razorbacks

Evangel Christian defensive back Santos Ramirez commits to Arkansas.

Two days after getting torched by Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, Arkansas has added a new member to its secondary.

Wallace passed for 407 yards and 3 touchdowns Saturday against the Razorbacks, but that did not deter Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian Academy defensive back Santos Ramirez from committing to Arkansas on Monday.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back joins fellow Evangel Christian teammate Jared Cornelius as an Arkansas commit.

"I really feel like they care for their recruits," Ramirez said of the Arkansas coaching staff. "Today they came down and saw practice and everything. And they talked to just me and Jared and they treated me like family. I really appreciated that.

"I know Coach (Bret) Bielema has a plan for the Arkansas Razorbacks' future and I am honored to be part of it," he added. "I like everything about the facilities and I think the program is headed in the right direction, so I thought it was time to pull the trigger."

Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith and Bielema were the two coaches that visited Evangel Christian Academy on Monday. Ramirez said his relationship with Smith is one of the many reasons he picked Arkansas over schools like LSU, Memphis, Baylor and others.

"Coach Smith is really cool," he said. "He's really down to earth. He's not uptight and he's not afraid to express himself the way he needs to. And I really like that about him.

"He just really treats me like I'm one of his cousins or something and I truly appreciate that."

Despite committing during a seven-game losing streak, Ramirez, like many others that are committed to Arkansas, said he believes the hardships for the Razorbacks are temporary.

"(Bielema) told me that he knows it hasn't started of well, but they're young and they have great potential," Ramirez said. "He also said I have the chance to play right off the bat and contribute as a freshman."

Arkansas' pass defense is ranked 113th (out of 120) this season and will lose starting safety Eric Bennett. Ramirez said Arkansas likes him as a cornerback, but could also play him at safety. He said he is looking forward to competing to get onto the field in his first year on campus.

"That's going to push me to get better as a player," Ramirez said. "Getting the chance to play in the SEC next year would meet one of my dreams in football. I know I have to stay humbled and keep God first, but it would be a great opportunity for me.

"And I want to be able to prove everyone who underestimated me wrong."

As for the remainder of his season, Ramirez said he hopes the Eagles' defense, which has shut out its last three opponents, will take Evangel Christian (8-1, 5-0) deep into the playoffs.

"The only game we lost, we beat ourselves," he said. "We're a really great team and I expect us to win the state championship."

The Eagles will open the playoffs Friday against Loyola.

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