Arkansas already has one preferred walk-on committed for its 2016 class, but that number could grow in the next couple of weeks.
One prospect seriously considering the offer is North Little Rock wide receiver Tobias Enlow, who missed his entire senior season because of a torn ACL.
Enlow has offers from one FBS program (Louisiana-Monroe), three FCS programs (Central Arkansas, Missouri State and Southeast Missouri State) and three Division II programs (Arkansas Tech, Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist), but the chance to play for the Razorbacks has given him a lot to think about.
“I’m talking to my parents every day about the options that I have,” Enlow said. “I’m just sitting back and enjoying all the time that I have left before I make a decision, but I am thinking hard about it.”
He is taking an official visit to Central Arkansas on Saturday and Southeast Missouri State on Jan. 30, and then, he said, he’ll make his final decision.
If Enlow chooses to come to Arkansas, he’s join Grant Morgan – a linebacker from Greenwood and younger brother of current Arkansas wide receiver Drew Morgan – as preferred walk-ons in the 2016 class.
Those two, as well as about eight other preferred walk-on prospects, were in Fayetteville this weekend. The visit allowed Enlow to meet current Arkansas walk-on and to have one-on-one conversations with head coach Bret Bielema, offensive coordinator Dan Enos and wide receivers coach Michael Smith.
Enlow’s conversation with Enos really stuck out to him.
“He said the main thing is when walk-ons and scholarship players come to college, that doesn’t matter any more,” Enlow said. “It’s just about whoever is the best, they’ll put on the field.
“I really paid attention to that part because I was worried about that, but when he told me that he would put the best on the field and if he had confidence in you, he’ll play you, that was music to my ears.”
Enlow said Bielema told him that he had a lot of potential – he was clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a summer camp – and believed he could eventually earn a scholarship if he did walk-on.
The current walk-ons that talked to Enlow also gave him some information to think about.
“They told us that being a walk-on, the title itself doesn’t really mean anything,” Enlow said. “You get the same stuff that scholarship players do and you get treated the same. The difference is that they actually signed a paper and have their college paid for.”
Whichever team ends up with Enlow, they’ll get a player that is hungry to get back on the field.
Enlow – who, thanks to playing behind K.J. Hill, caught 16 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns as a junior – tore his ACL during a preseason scrimmage and missed his entire senior year.
“It was really tough for the first week,” Enlow said. “It really hit me hard. Then after than, I just didn’t think about it any more. I just looked on the positive side, that colleges still wanted me, even though I was hurt.”
Nearly five months removed from surgery, Enlow met with his doctor last week and was told that he is 90 percent healed. He was cleared to slowly begin squatting and running routes again.
“In my mind, I think I’m cleared, but my parents want me to take it slow since I’m getting back to action and everything,” Enlow said. “The process has been long, but it’s been good.”
It has also taught him a valuable lesson, one that will surely benefit the school he chooses in a couple of weeks.
“It made me realize you can’t take anything for granted,” Enlow said. “Don’t take any plays off, don’t take a rep off, nothing, because at any moment, you’ll feel fine one day, then the next day a crazy accident could happen.
“Take nothing for granted.”