Arkansas Keeps Focus On Graham

Despite linebacker coach Randy Shannon leaving for Florida, Arkansas still has a commitment from Florida prep linebacker Derrick Graham (6-4, 225) and Razorback defensive coordinator Robb Smith will be on hand to visit him Friday as the school hopes to remove any doubt about his decision with that visit and a new coaching hire.

P.J. Graham – the older brother of Arkansas linebacker commit Derrick Graham – got a chance to attend the national championship college football game at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on Monday night.

He expects to know sooner than later if he will return to that same place next season to watch his younger brother play in that same venue for the Razorbacks against Texas A&M.

The status of Graham (6-4, 225) – a Wachula, Fla., Hardee standout that lived in Gainesville until the eighth grade - has been in doubt since Arkansas linebacker coach Randy Shannon left for Florida.

“We are still waiting to see what happens,” the older Graham said. “We hope that it is a good linebacker coach.”

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and his assistant coaches can get back out on the road recruiting on Thursday when the dead period ends.

Razorback defensive coordinator Robb Smith – freshly signed to a new extension with a big raise - is scheduled to see Graham on Friday morning.

Arkansas defensive line coach Rory Segrest is slated to visit Vanderbilt defensive end commit Moultrie, Ga., Colquitt County star T.J. Smith (6-3, 260) on Thursday and Smith will arrive next Wednesday for his official visit.

Houston, Texas, Cypress Falls cornerback/safety Nate Dalton will see Razorback secondary coach Clay Jennings Friday and then take his official visit to Arkansas this weekend.

The Grahams actually have plans to then come to Arkansas on their own dime to help the Razorbacks recruit – something that was scheduled before Shannon’s departure.

“We are still planning to come, but it looks like coaches from Arkansas are coming this week on Friday,” P.J. Graham said. “Coach B has not done his home visit as of yet.”

The Grahams have known Shannon for many years and that was a big reason the prospect committed to Arkansas over Florida, Mississippi State and others back on Nov. 4 – Derrick’s birthday.

“I think they (the Gators) are wanting him to come and visit, but Arkansas is the only one so far,” noted P.J. Graham, a Florida alum.

Both Smiths have become close with Bielema and Arkansas defensive Robb Smith, who will be in Graham’s home on Friday morning.

“We have great respect for what Coach Bielema and Coach Smith are doing with the program and their coaching ability and are really just looking to see what happens,” Smith said. “Arkansas looks like it is going to have a great future.”





P.J. Graham, Derrick Graham


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