Arkansas has taken its best shot the last couple of days with a pair of four-star cousins from Detroit in hopes that they will both spend their college days in the South.
Detroit Cass Technical safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell (6-1, 190) and Detroit Martin Luther King cornerback Ambry Thomas (5-11, 175) - both being recruiting by Razorback offensive coordinator Dan Enos - have been in Fayetteville the past few days at the Razorbacks’ High School Camp.
“A lot of people have come through here, great people, legends really,” Kelly-Powell said. “The coaches are really great. They talked to us and they are not just talking about football. They are talking about life, school. They are great people.”
Thomas - who like his cousin has over 35 offers - agrees.
“It is a real nice place,” Thomas said. “I didn’t expect it to be like this. The coaching staff is amazing. The people here, I have been kicking it with the players too. Everything is smooth.”
Both are enjoying their taste of southern hospitality.
“I like the people of Arkansas,” Thomas said. “There ain’t nothing like the South. It really is about what I expected.”
The two were supposed to both be playing at Cass Technical, but it didn’t end up that way and now they actually play at rival high schools and have gone against each other the past two seasons.
They were doing the same during Monday afternoon’s one-on-one drills.
“It is always good competition when we go against each other,” Thomas said. “We just get each other better.”
Enos had been staying after the pair to at least come take a visit and see what Arkansas had to offer.
“Coach Enos,” Thomas said. “He asked us to ‘hurry up and get down, when are we coming down?’ I was like ‘we are coming down soon, but I don’t know when we are coming down.’ But my uncle sit it up with them and said ‘we are about go down there and see what Arkansas is about.’”
Kelly-Powell noted that Enos - who has previously coached at Michigan State and Central Michigan - spent time at Cass Tech this spring.
“Coach Enos has been at my school a lot,” Kelly-Powell said. “So I am like ‘I might as well take a chance and go down there and see how it is.’
“We wanted to come down and see what it was like.There were a lot of hills like West Virginia, a lot of mountains. We just wanted to come down and see how it is.
“Everything really - the practice facilities, the campus and actually getting to see it it was beautiful. I liked it a lot.”
Both were very fascinated with how Arkansas’ two practice fields are on top of a parking garage.
“This outdoor facility is on top of a parking lot,” Kelly-Powell said. “That is amazing. I don’t know how you get grass to grow on it. The inside facilities are great. The weight room is really great. It’s 100 yards - an actually football field.”
Thomas agreed with that sentiment.
“That was amazing,” Thomas said. “I didn’t know it was up under there. But when we walked down there I was like ‘how do they get grass to grow on top of a parking garage?’ I ain't never seen that.”
Michigan and Michigan State are thought to be the favorites for the pair, but they are open to playing in the South.
“A lot of people are recruiting me, I don’t know where I am going to go at all,” Kelly-Powell said. “I am going to take a couple of visits and probably make a top 10 and go from there.”
Thomas remains opens and doesn't plan to rush his decision.
“It is going real smooth,” Thomas said. “I actually picked up a few more offers recently and I plan on committing probably like the end of the season.”
He puts Arkansas’ facilities up top in his travels.
“They are high actually,” Thomas said. “Only other school I see competing with them know is West Virginia. I like West Virginia’s whole little hook up.
“They (the Razorbacks) have two home fields. I have never been to a school that has got two home fields so that is real nice.”