Razorback Recruits Revel In Rout Of Horns

Arkansas' 31-7 rout of Texas in Houston on Monday night certainly had Razorback recruiting targets Jalen Merrick and T.J. Smith fired up about the team's direction as well as those already committed to be part of the program's future.

It’s clear that Arkansas’ 31-7 bowl rout of Texas resonated with plenty of future Razorbacks as well as one of the biggest uncommitted targets left on the board and another one they are trying to flip.

New Smyrna, Fla., Beach offensive line Jalen Merrick (6-4, 310) watched the ESPN telecast of the Texas Bowl and came away impressed.

“Good win,” noted Merrick, who took his official visit to Arkansas during the Razorbacks’ 30-0 humbling of No. 8 Ole Miss. “If they would’ve have played every game like they have the second half of the season, their record would be crazy good.

“There are great things to come going forward for the Hogs,” Merrick added.

Merrick – a mid-term graduate – is set to announce his decision between Arkansas, Florida State and Florida in the next week or so.

The Razorbacks are also hoping to land Moultrie, Ga., Colquitt County defensive end T.J. Smith (6-4, 250), who says he will take his official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 21-23.

Smith is currently committed to Vanderbilt and has an official visit set there Jan. 16-18, to Wake Forest on Jan. 23-25, Arkansas and Missouri on Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

“Last night showed the world what the next few years are going to look like,” Smith said. “I have no doubt in my mind they can win the SEC in the year or two.”

Arkansas quarterback signee Ty Storey (6-3, 215) was thrilled with the win the Razorbacks’ old Southwest Conference rival.

“It was a big win,” Storey said. “With the awesome tradition behind the game, it seemed a lot more intense than just the normal bowl win,” Storey said. “It was good to get the win.”

As a mid-term graduate and a Financial Aid-Agreement signee with Arkansas, Storey was able to go through five practices with his new college team last week.

“It was fun,” Storey said. “It was good to get all the basics down so when spring practices start I’ll be ready to go.”

Carrollton, Texas, Hebron center Zach Rogers (6-3, 300) – who was limited in the aforementioned workouts due to an injury – was inspired by the win.

“Awesome win,” Rogers said. “They came out and played like they are capable and it showed,” Rogers said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean (6-3, 263) – another mid-term graduate who will enroll at Arkansas in January – can’t wait to be a part of a Razorback defense, which held the Longhorns to a measly 59 yards of total offense.

“Arkansas played a great game,” Dean said. “Defense did their job. The offense really improved. Overall it was just a great game.”

Arkansas wide receiver commit Deon Stewart (6-1, 170) of Highland also touched on winning the rivalry game – which has had the largest attendance of any bowl game to this point.

“I know how big of a rivalry we used to have with them and it was great to go out there and get a that win,” Stewart said. “Great things are going to happen for the Razorbacks in the next couple of years.”

Razorback tailback pledge Rawleigh Williams (5-10, 210), who rushed for nearly 3,000 yards this season, will join a stable of tailbacks that includes two returnees in Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins – who both rushed for over 1,100 yards this season.

He’ll join senior-to-be Kody Walker, redshirt freshman Juan Day and sophomore Denzel Evans in fighting to get carries behind those two.

“It’s a big win for the program,” Rawleigh Williams said. “It’s always good to win your bowl game, but to win it last night is huge for momentum going into next season.”

One of the top juniors in Texas that Arkansas is trying to land is Manvel linebacker Jordan Carmouche (6-1, 210), who is being recruiting by both the Razorbacks and Longhorns.

“Awesome,” Carmouche said. “One of the best games I have ever seen them play.”





T.J. Smith


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