Jonathan Nance started his career as a cornerback in Conference USA, but may finish it as a wide receiver in the SEC.
The former two-star prospect out of Gulfport, Miss., enrolled early at Southern Miss and then transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College after last spring when the Golden Eagles decided to play him at corner instead of receiver.
The gamble appears to be paying off, as Nance (6-1, 181) has three offers to play his desired position at the FBS level.
“I didn’t have that many (offers) in high school,” Nance said. “I think I had a few, but it shows that my hard work is paying off by receiving DI offers.
“It feels good that my decision went through and everything went well with what I chose to do.”
After a season in which he caught 31 passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns, Nance has received offers from Troy, Arkansas and Colorado State, in that order.
Getting an offer from the Razorbacks meant the most to him.
“It felt good to receive an offer from an SEC school,” Nance said. “(Arkansas) was my second offer and it was the most special because they’re an out-of-state school and they came (to my school) and offered me a scholarship.”
Nance definitely plans to visit Fayetteville this summer and hopes to bring along a few of teammates.
The Razorbacks have also offered Mississippi Gulf Coast wide receiver Brandon Martin, defensive end Isaiah Buggs and offensive lineman D’Marcus Hayes.
“We talk about it all the time, about going to the same school and how it would be cool for us to play together again,” Nance said. “They’re all considering it, too, but we’ll see how it all goes.”
Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith has been Nance’s main recruiter and has developed a nice relationship with the JUCO receiver.
He has given him an idea of what Arkansas’ offense – which became more two-dimensional last season – would be like if Nance decides to play for the Razorbacks.
“I knew they were going to throw it around a little bit more and I’ve been talking to Coach Smith,” Nance said. “He tells me that they’re going to throw it, so that’s a good thing.”
Nance said he wants to make a decision soon, but until then, he’ll continue working on his strength and route running. He has 4.44-second speed in the 40-yard dash.
Playing alongside Martin will also benefit Nance. They will give the Bulldogs a dynamic 1-2 punch in the passing game.
“We have some high goals for each other and we’re going to push each other to get better and better each game and practice,” Nance said. “We just want to go out there an make plays.”