Pierce expects early playing time

Arkansas tight end commit Ravian Pierce expects to get on the field early.

Ravian Pierce is hoping to get back on the field for Plantation (Fla.) High School's playoff game on Friday, despite being questionable with a foot injury.

With that said, he has no worries about whether or not he steps onto the field next season for Arkansas.

"I'm just there to compete and play," Pierce said. "I'm going to give 100 percent each and every day."

Even though he is not worried about whether or not he plays in year one as he is set to step onto campus with fellow tight end Jack Kraus, he said he could see himself included in the offense.

Pierce's confidence has a lot to do with the number of tight ends Arkansas has used under Bret Bielema this season. Hunter Henry, Mitchell Loewen, Jeremy Sprinkle and Austin Tate have all caught passes this season. Henry, a freshman, is also the Razorbacks' second-leading receiver.

"I think Coach B will switch it up and use everyone," Pierce said. "They are obviously doing that this year with Hunter Henry and then the sophomore and the senior they use mostly for blocking schemes. So I think they are going to use us all the right way."

Four of Bielema's former Wisconsin tight ends (Lance Kendricks, Jake Byrne, Garrett Graham and Owen Daniels) are playing in the NFL. If Pierce, who said he tries to match his style of play to that of Vernon Davis, made it to the league, he would be the first Floridian tight end Bielema coached to do so.

Pierce said he likes the focus Arkansas' staff places on recruiting Florida. The Razorbacks added four players in the 2013 signing class from the Sunshine State. Arkansas senior wide receiver Javontee Herndon was the Razorbacks' only Floridian on campus until Alex Collins, Denver Kirkland, De'Andre Coley, and Ke'Tyrus Marks arrived.

"You can't really depend on one state, but I believe that it's going good for Arkansas (recruiting in Florida)," Pierce said. "Alex obviously came from Florida and he is doing really well up there. And then I believe he and the rest of the recruits from Florida that have gone to Arkansas are doing well and they're going to keep getting better."

In attempting to recover from his foot injury with the hopes to play Friday, Pierce said he has been taking it easy with workouts and not making any explosive movements off his injured foot in practice. Plantation will travel to St. Thomas Aquinas for the second round of the playoffs and will be trying to snap its 5-game losing streak to St. Thomas.

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