Arkansas already has one of the nation’s tallest offensive lineman and could replace him with someone almost equally as big in the 2017 recruiting class.=
Richmond, Ill., Richmond-Burton offensive lineman Dalton Wagner (6-9, 300) will remind fans of current Razorback offensive lineman Dan Skipper (6-10, 325).
Wagner, whose school is about 55 miles away from Chicago, is one of a few juniors that Arkansas will have on campus on Saturday.
“I really am looking forward to getting down there and seeing what all Arkansas has to offers, getting to meet the coaches in person and hopefully get to be around some of the current offensive lineman and see what it is like for them,” Wagner said. “I’m also excited to see all the facilities.”
There are five or six juniors expected to visit Arkansas unofficially on Saturday, including Ashdown safety Montaric Brown (6-1, 180), Tulsa Union cornerback Dre Brown (5-11, 180) and Fayetteville defensive tackle Akial Byers (6-4, 260).
Wagner, who sports a 3.0 grade point average while taking Advanced Placement classes, has 13 offers after adding one from Arkansas last Saturday.
“The Arkansas offer was one I was really hoping to get because they are known for having great offensive lines, big offensive linemen and have such a great reputation,” Wagner said.
Wagner certainly comes from a big family as his dad Brad is 6-5, mom Nancy is 6-1, older brother and Southern Illinois lineman Bryce is 6-8 and his five-year old brother Wyatt is already a whopping 4-6.
“Yes, we are a rather huge family,” Wagner said.
He is being recruited by new Razorback offensive line coach Kurt Anderson, the former Buffalo Bills offensive line coach and someone that has communicated with Wagner via twitter.
“He’s been fun to talk to,” Wagner said. “It’s clear that he takes a lot of pride in what he is doing, not only one the field, but off it as well. He has a swag about him and I love that.
“I think it would be pretty exciting to be coached by him and he certainly has the background to know what he is doing and knows what it would take to get to the next level.
“He has told me that he wants some big, nasty road graders and I feel like that is exactly what I am.”
Anderson knows Richmond-Burton head girls basketball coach Todd Severns.
“He told me to make sure Mr. Severns knows that I offered you a scholarship,” Wagner said. “That was pretty cool.”
He’s also excited to get to meet Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema in person.
“He seems like a great coach and a great guy and I am looking forward to building a relationship with him,” Wagner said. “I think Arkansas has a program that is really coming on.”
Wagner believes that he fits the mold of what Arkansas is looking for in offensive linemen.
“I think I am big and strong and all the coaches talk about how good my pad level is,” Wagner said. “I do a really good job of keeping my pad level low.
“I also feel like my footwork is pretty good, but I am always working to get it better. I am just working on everything to become the best offensive lineman that I can be.”
Wagner has offers from Missouri, Louisville, Illinois and Indiana among the 13 he has accumulated.
“I went to Missouri for a Junior Day last week and I’ve also been to see Indiana, Illinois and Northwestern and I have been to a lot of Big Ten games like ones at Iowa, Michigan State and others,” Wagner said.
While he lives in Big 10 Country, Wagner is very interested in the SEC.
“I think it is the place to go if you really want to go up against the best players in college football,” Wagner said. “I am all about going against the biggest and the best.”