Gragg Ready To Join Arkansas Practices

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about the addition of Will Gragg to Arkansas' FAA family on Thursday morning and what Razorback head coach Bret Bielema hopes to get accomplished in the off-season. This story is free and courtesy of the NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.

With the addition of Dumas four-star tight end Will Gragg to the Arkansas’ FAA family on Thursday morning, the Razorbacks are now ready to embark on a new chapter in their history on Monday.

Gragg (6-4, 245), the brother of former Arkansas and current Buffalo Bills tight end Chris Gragg, became the fifth player to sign a Financial Aid-Agreement with Arkansas and he will participate in his first Razorback practice on Monday.

“We’re ecstatic to welcome Will into the Razorback family,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. “Will is already such a balanced tight end that we’re looking forward to see what his physicality and quickness brings to our offense in the spring.

"Will possesses the uncommon qualities that we are looking for in our men on and off the field, and the fact that he is from Arkansas only makes his choice that much more exciting," Bielema added.

Gragg chose Arkansas over some 50 other scholarship offers – including ones from Texas, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and Florida State.

He had 42 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns this season for Dumas after hauling in 31 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns for Pine Bluff as a junior.

“This is just home,” noted Gragg, who committed to Arkansas back in September. “There’s no place like home and nothing beats home.

“…I think it not only made my family happy, but the people we associate with, the people we live with the just the whole state of Arkansas proud,” Gragg added.

He joins Charleston quarterback Ty Storey (6-3, 215), Carrollton, Texas, Hebron offensive lineman Zach Rogers (6-3, 300) , Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean (6-3, 250) and Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt (6-5, 290) as FAA signees with the Razorbacks.

All but Froholdt – who is home in Denmark for the holidays – are eligible to participate in practice Saturday albeit Dean has a torn labrum and will be unable to do so.

All those guys and Hutchinson, Kan., Community College defensive end and junior college All-American Jerermiah Ledbetter (6-4, 281) – who signed with the Razorbacks on Wednesday – will enroll at Arkansas in January.

That will allow them to go through off-season conditioning and spring practice with their new teammates.

“We have tremendous opportunity bring in six or seven guys in January that are high school mid-year grads, which means they are very smart and very focused on their goals.

“Really only one junior college player right now that we are probably taking so to have that high of challenge and to have that high of a g.p.a. (grade point average) coming in before we start spring ball is huge," Bielema added.

Arkansas has 18 commitments in its 2015 recruiting class – one that is currently ranked 18th nationally by

The Razorbacks (6-6) have room for seven more pledges and hope that a win over Texas (6-6) in the Texas Bowl in Houston will add to both the momentum in that class and the 2016 ones.

“I think no doubt a big part of that is to play well in the bowl game, to take that final step of our season, to take the bowl game as a cinder block and boost us into the 2015 campaign,” Bielema said.

“I think we need to continue to add to our roster,” Bielema added. “I think there is no doubt in my mind that the last two classes are the two best classes I have had in my college career and that is not easy to do after two poor seasons.”

He is proud that his team moved its record from 3-9 in 2013 to 6-6 in 2014, but is nowhere near satisfied with that.

“This year gave us a little bit of life, a little bit of mojo,” Bielema continued. “To finish this recruiting class off the right way would be huge and then to take it into the winter, into the fall, into the spring and make our guys understand that they have not arrived.

“They are in a place to make a nice turnaround, but we need to finish the details to make sure we win a lot more than we lose,” Bielema said.

Will Gragg

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