Arkansas hosts big recruiting weekend

With Dallas Washington's pledge giving Arkansas 22 commitments going into the weekend, the Razorback staff now looks to add more as 17 prospects take official visits this weekend.

With 22 commitments - including the Thursday pledge of Texas prep star Dallas Washington - the University of Arkansas is nearing the end run of its 2004 recruiting haul.

The Razorbacks will likely get even closer hosting 17 prospects for official visits this weekend after which it appears maybe as many as five more may also pledge to jump on board.

Those 17 will arrive today around noon and stay through Sunday and a few more come in next week - including Little Rock stars Fred Bledsoe and Marc Winston - for what UA head coach Houston Nutt is calling a crucial weekend to his program's future success.

"These next two weekends are the most important weekends of the year when it comes to recruiting and we are so focused on finishing out with a bang," Nutt said. "They are going to be critical and we have just got to finish strong. It is the pivotal point in recruiting. These next two weekends will tell the story."

Actually appears the end of the story is almost complete or at least the author has a very good idea of how it is going to work out.

Some of those expected to commit to Arkansas this weekend are the Marlin (Texas) High duo of safety D'Nerian Wrighter (6-2, 205, 4.4) and cornerback Matterial "Red" Richardson (6-0, 190, 4.4) and Tulsa Booker T. Washington Michael Tate (6-4, 240, 4.6).

"I'm coming over there with the intention of being a Razorback by the end of the weekend," Tate said.

"We know where we want to go," Wrighter said earlier this week of himself and Richardson, who live in the same home. "We'll just get up there this weekend, take in all in and then probably end this recruiting."

Sources indicate that the Razorbacks also would like to add cornerback Kyle Williams (6-1, 190, 4.4) and one or both of two Georgia prep tackles in Frank Morton (6-3, 280, 4.9) and Ernest Mitchell (6-1, 290, 4.9).

That would likely leave spots available for only Bledsoe, the 6-5, 295-pound defensive tackle from Little Rock Central and Winston, the 6-7, 235-pound Little Rock Parkview tight end.

There's also a spot reserved for Georgia star running back Darius Walker (5-11, 190, 4.3), who will visit Arkansas officially on Jan. 30.

"We feel really privileged to be in the situation where we're at and we're going to be real selective here on these last couple of scholarships," said Arkansas recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn. "It might be a mad scramble with guys thinking they need to go ahead and jump in with commitments."

Although both Winston and Bledsoe are thought to be leaning to Arkansas, the Razorbacks are certainly evaluating their options and still sizing up other recruits.

Others expected in this weekend are Georgia prep defensive ends Brandon Cox (6-3, 225, 4.6) and Brandon Lang (6-5, 220, 4.5), cornerbacks David Haynes (5-9, 165, 4.4) of McGregor, Texas and Terrance Sharp (5-10, 170, 4.4) of Memphis Fairley as well Texas prep wideout Bobby McCoy (6-1, 180, 4.5).

"We've got a pecking order and the ones that are in the pecking order that want to jump in can jump in at anytime," Vaughn said. "There's nothing wrong with them being done before signing day and there's nothing wrong with us being filled up before signing day either."

The Razorback will also be hosting six recruits that have already committed to them in cornerbacks Rick Culbert (6-0, 170, 4.4) of Vidor, Texas and Darius Vinnett (5-9, 170) of West Hills (Calif.) CC; Pulaksi Academy offensive lineman Jonathon Luigs (6-4, 302, 5.0), Searcy linebacker Weston Dacus (6-2, 225 4.65) , East Poinsett County wideout Marcus Monk (6-6, 225, 4.6) and Coffeyville (Kan.) CC safety Randy Kelly (5-11, 175, 4.4).

Arkansas has gotten a recruit each of the past four days with Little Rock Parkview athlete Jamaal Anderson (6-5, 205, 4.6), Kelly, Vinnett and Atlanta (Texas) High cornerback Dallas Washington (6-0, 193, 4.45), who committed to the Razorbacks on Thursday.

Washington, who will be take his official visit to Arkansas next weekend, was also being recruited by Texas A&M, Purdue, TCU and SMU.

"I just sit down with some people, talked everything over and didn't see any need to wait because I had already been up there on an unofficial visit for the Florida game," Washington said. "I know its where I want to go so I made sure they knew I did."

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