Jason Ivester

Smith Heads Up Ark-La Hogs Collection

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about the success Arkansas assistant coach Michael Smith in landing the Razorbacks player from his home state of Louisiana. This story is free and courtesy of the NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.

Obviously Arkansas shares a border with Louisiana and thus it is no surprise that several of that state’s prep prospects make their way to Fayetteville to play their college football.
Right now the Razorbacks have seven former Louisiana prep stars on their roster with three more 2016 prospects committed to Arkansas.
Those three - linebacker De’Jon Harris of Marrero, John Ehret, Lafayette Tuerlings Catholic Cole Kelley and Metaire Archbishop Rummel defensive lineman Briston Guidry - will all be on hand to see Arkansas battle LSU Saturday night at 6:15 in Baton Rouge.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Guidry said. “If the defense finds a way to shut down (LSU tailback) Leonard Fournette, we should leave with a win.”
Kelly is hoping the same thing happens in a place called Death Valley.
“I hope it is a great game and Arkansas pulls off the upset,” Kelly said.
All of those have Razorback wide receivers coach Michael Smith as their chief recruiter.
“I am just working hard to bring a lot of that great talent up here to Arkansas,” Smith said. “We’ve got some great ones already and we want some more.”
Guidry paid Smith - a New Orleans native - a big compliment.
“He’s great,” Guidry said. “He’s got to be one of the realest coaches I have ever talked to.”
Harris agrees with that and says it is more than just on the field.
“He is a great recruiter,” Harris said. “Always making sure we are good with the books and on the field.”
Arkansas sophomore cornerback Henre’ Toliver feels like the fact that Smith is a native of Louisiana goes a long way in him getting his foot in the door with prospects.
“He is New Orleans guy, a Jesuit guy and they are actually in my high school’s district, and he just has a real good relationship with everybody down there.”
Smith has been able to land some recruits that LSU wanted and others that they overlooked.
“I think with the way the recruitment goes at LSU that I think a lot of people just want to get away from home,” Toliver said. “I know that is what I wanted to do. Obviously there are a lot of players down there that have LSU as their dream school.
“Arkansas did it for me. Michael Smith got me up here and me just wanting to get away.”
Arkansas sophomore wide receiver Jared Cornelius and defensive back Santos Ramirez were both offered by LSU at their summer camp.
When LSU pulled Ramirez’ offer, Cornelius in turn sent LSU packing.
“We went to camp and they offered us and for some reason, they pulled Santos’ offer,” Cornelius said. “I was not a fan of that so we both decided to go somewhere else.”

Cornelius made it clear this game means a little extra to him.
“I am not a fan of the coaching staff and their recruiting process and how they do things down there so I am really looking forward to this game.”

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