Arkansas may have come up a couple of points shy in its bid for a fifth straight win on Saturday night, but it still may have won the weekend in terms of recruiting.
That’s because Beaumont, Texas Central four-star tailback Devwah Whaley (6-0, 210, 4.45) made it clear the Razorbacks were his leader after finishing up his official visit to Arkansas.
“It was a great visit just coming in here and experiencing every thing that I experienced,” Whaley said. “Arkansas is definitely my number one school right now.
“Just the impact of coming in and playing right away has a big influence on me. So what I am going to do is just go home, talk it over with my parents and go from there.”
Whaley just finished up a season in rushed 242 times 1,389 yards and 22 touchdowns and has carried the ball 416 times for over 2,700 yards.
Whaley is the nation’s third-best tailback nationally by ESPN and seventh in the country by Scout.com.
“I have pretty good vision, speed, strength, and I just play hard every snap,” Whaley said.
He knows playing time at Arkansas is readily available with the likelihood of both injured senior Jonathan Williams and junior Alex Collins heading to the NFL.
“J-Will and Alex Collins will most likely be gone this year and with Rawleigh (Williams) that is pretty much all they really have and he’s been hurt,” Whaley said. “It is a big opportunity to come in and play right away.”
Whaley, who had previously announced his decision to commit publicly at the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 2, has taken an official visit to Georgia and has one currently set up to Texas on Dec. 11-13.
He has recently eliminated Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
“I might be close to a decision, but l still have one more visit,” Whaley said. “I’ll go home, talk it over with parents and go from there.”
Whaley lauded the coaches, atmosphere and academic mindset at Arkansas under Razorback head coach Bret Bielema.
“They’re great coaches,” Whaley said. “Everybody on the coaching staff is great coaches and they’re great people. Just being around them is a great feeling.
“Just the environment, just the home feeling I get from being here and it just feels like home away from home.
“The new (Jerry Jones And Family Academic Center) facility is great. Academics are really stressed a lot and Coach B does a great job stressing the academic part.”
Whaley was hosted by the two Williams - Rawleigh and Jonathan.
“We got to hang out and just got to know each other better,” Whaley said. “I got to meet some of the other players so it was pretty cool.”
Whaley is clear that he is a young man of faith.
"My faith, just keeping God first and just having passion for the game,” Whaley said. “Without God, none of this would be possible."
Mississippi State downed Arkansas 51-50 on Saturday when a field goal was blocked with 39 seconds left.
“It was a good game,” Whaley said. “Obviously I thought they should have won, but stuff like that happens and it was a good game.”