Richmond, Ill., Richmond-Burton junior offensive lineman Dalton Wagner (6-9, 300) was pretty sure he was going to like his unofficial visit to Arkansas this past Saturday, but he walked away in love with the place.
Wagner, who has Arkansas among his 13 offers, was one of six 2017 prospects that were on hand to checkout head coach Bret Bielema’s Razorback program last weekend.
“First getting to meet Coach Bielema was really inspirational,” Wagner said. “He is not only one of the more influential guys, not only in his state, but in college football as well.
“I had a little trouble with how to say his name and he said everybody messes it up. He said to just call him Coach B or you will just end up pronouncing it like some disease. That was pretty funny.”
He also got to finally meet new Arkansas offensive line coach Kurt Anderson, who has entertained him via twitter.
“Coach Anderson is just a fun guy that knows his football and he and Coach B are working on turning Arkansas into Offensive Line U and want me to be a part of that,” Wagner said.
Wagner, who has offers from Missouri, Louisville, Illinois and Indiana, also got to meet current Arkansas junior Dan Skipper (6-10, 325), a player similar to him in size.
“That was just fantastic getting to meet Dan Skipper,” Wagner said. “I don’t look up to very many people, but he is one guy who is taller than me.
“He gave me a lot of inspiration and he led the player panel they had to answer questions for us. It was just a really nice deal overall.”
Wagner also got the chance to meet Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.
“I absolutely love the passion he has for his job,” Wagner said. “He is very intense man and cares a great deal about what he does and the athletes he works with. It is great to see and I know that he would really help me out if I decide to come to Arkansas.”
“I have been to a lot of places that all have great facilities, but I don’t know that anyone has as top-notch a facilities overall as Arkansas has,” Wagner said. “I mean everything is great, it’s all new and they just have everything you could want or need.
“I just felt in love with the place and it has really got me excited about the opportunities at Arkansas.
Wagner plans to be deliberate about his decision.
“Everybody always says that it is a big decision because it is where you are going to be the next four or five years,” Wagner said. “I think it is even more than that. I think the decision is going to make the difference on the next 40 or 50 years of your life.
“So I want to be real sure about what I am doing and I think I will probably go into my senior season before I make a decision. I want to be real certain.”