Arkansas’ fourth of five 2017 grid commits is a speedy wide receiver from Las Vegas by way of Austin that will make his first trip to Fayetteville later this month.
Bishop Gorman junior wideout Maleek Barkley (5-11, 185, 4.4) pledged to the Razorbacks on Sunday night and plans to be on hand to see Arkansas’ Spring Game on April 23.
Barkley is excited about working with Razorback wide receiver coach Michael Smith, who has several seniors on his depth chart this season.
“I am looking forward to getting down there and getting to know everything about Arkansas and get in the groove because I want to play as a true freshman up there,” Barkley said Tuesday night.
“I am just real comfortable with the coaches at Arkansas and we are all on the same page.
“Coach Smith and I have a really good relationship and we just talk about stuff on my personal level and things that I need to work on when I get there and what we can accomplish by the end of my time while I am there.”
Barkley, who has a personal best of 10.54 in the 100 meters, is a Las Vegas native that spent the past three seasons playing at Austin, Texas, Lake Travis.
He caught 55 passes for 693 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and filled in at tailback late in the season while rushing for 617 yards and 10 more scores.
“I think I am a really explosive player and have great vision,” Barkley said. “I am the kind of player that wants to win a game and do all I can to make that happen.
“I want to show everybody what I can do and just play on a high level. I am still working on my explosiveness and my legs and coming out of my cuts a lot faster.”
He scored 13 touchdowns alone in the Cavaliers’ five playoff wins – a streak that ended with Katy downing Lake Travis 34-7 in a match-up of teams with 15-0 records.
“I was playing wide receiver and then our running back got hurt and so I filled that hole at running back going into the first round of the playoffs,” Barkley said. “I just stepped up and never looked back and just balled out and balled on.”
Bishop Gorman, where Barkley enrolled in January, has not lost a game since October 2013 and has won seven straight state titles.
Barkley will be catching passes from Texas A&M quarterback commit Tate Martell.
“I think we are going to have a really good team,” Barkley said. “We are all working hard right now. I love the coaches and they love me and I love the players and they have been great at welcoming me back in.”
Bishop Gorman will open its 2016 season on August 27 with a game at Texas powerhouse Cedar Hill that will be televised by ESPN.
Barkley joins Cabot athlete Jarrod Barnes (5-11, 175), Attalah, Ala., Etowah quarterback Daulton Hyatt (6-4, 180), Metairie, La., Archbishop Rummel linebacker Derrick Munson (6-0, 200) and Marrero, La., John Ehret offensive tackle Dwayne Fisher (6-5, 300) - who pledged to Arkansas on Wednesday night - as current Razorback commits in the 2017 class.
Barkley watched Arkansas a lot last season, but certainly will be in tune with all things Razorback this fall.
“I have seen a lot of it on TV and the facilities and the crowd look amazing, but I really want to get down there and see the reality, see how it looks,” Barkley said. “I know it is a great academic school and it has amazing things to offer both on and off field and I can really just see it being a perfect fit for me.”