Arkansas Football LOIs Arrive

Houston Nutt went over the Class of 2002 Wednesday afternoon after the letters of intents were faxed to the Arkansas athletic department. Speed at running back, quarterback and wide receiver highlight another solid Razorback class of football signees. Quotes from Nutt on every signee are included.

Arkansas coaches wrapped up a successful recruiting season with 22 signed letters of intent received Wednesday at the Broyles Center. There were at least one more pin-state star, running back DeAngelo Williams, that the Hogs would continue to court in the next few hours.

Williams had committed to Arkansas on Tuesday, but did not sign a letter of intent on Wednesday. He seemed to be struggling with a decision between Arkansas and Memphis late in the day.

Receivers Chris Baker, Desmond Sims, Michael Coe, John Jackson, David Thompson, John Johnson and a trio of backs that could play multiple spots -- Vickiel Vaughn and Dedrick Poole highlighted the class.

"We would have liked to have another offensive lineman, and a tight end, but you always want one more here or there," Houston Nutt said. "This is a great group. Last year, we had 10 freshmen play. If you look at them on paper, you think maybe there are 10 more in this group who can help. The speed is sure there. You'd just say, 'Come get on the bus and let's see.' I love this class."

Nutt said the Hogs won many battles with Oklahoma, LSU, Mississippi State and Tennessee ... more than in the past.

"That's what I think about this class, that we went after a higher flight player," he said. "We didn't get them all. But, we got in the right homes and got the right players to visit. And, you look at Tony Ugoh and that was the story of the year. He withstood a lot because he decided to be a Hog the day he stepped foot on our campus and never wavered under a lot of pressure.

"You look at Tony, and I think we list him on our release at 270. He's 295 now, and he may be over 300, really. He's a massive guy. When you draw up what you are looking for, it's a guy like Tony Ugoh. If you look at the other end of the field during warmups, that's what you see."

Arkansas also expects quarterback Rhett Lashlee (Springdale) and offensive tackle Jason Grimes (Bentonville) to attend the UA as invited walkons. Eugene Cousart, running back from Memphis, Tn., also is committed, with the UA promising a scholarship if he makes his grades.

 

Letters of intents received by UA (22), with quotes from Houston Nutt for each player:


John Jackson, Monticello, WR/DB, 5-11, 194, 4.39: "If he was in one of the major metro areas like Dallas, we'd be fighting for a visit. He has great speed and athletic ability. He can fly."

Sammy Olajubutu, LaGrange, Ga., LB, 5-10, 205, 4.5: "Learn to say his name, and remember this chant ... BU-TU, BU-TU, BU-TU ... that's what you hear at LaGrange. He is from a fertile, fertile recruiting ground. They win state title after state title. He is a great, great athlete ... a great wrestler, and can play fullback, too. He loves to knock people out. He attacks people with speed and aggressiveness."

*Tony Ugoh, Spring, Texas, OL, 6-6, 290, 5.0: "Spell his name backwards, and it's HogU. We told him that from the start. He committed when he got here. He loved it.. He never wavered. That's what you love. Coach Broyles, Coach Matthews and Coach Horton tell me that those that commit right away ... they want to be Hogs from the time they get here ... they are the ones that are most successful here. That fits Tony. We battled OU all the way. He is the story of the year. His Sunday School teacher moved here and that helped us. David Lee knew his cousin. We double and triple teamed him and stayed after him. If you look at the other end of the field when we are warming up, that is what you see, bodies like his. That's what we've been going against."

Desmond Sims, New Madric, Mo., WR, 6-4, 194, 4.54: "He is an athlete who played a lot of positions. He can play defensive end, tailback ... but we want him as a wide receiver.David Lee coached his high school coach, so that helped us there. I think he is a true difference maker. He knows how to break on the ball."

David Thompson, Memphis, Tenn., WR, 6-2, 180, 4.48: "We had him in camp and loved the way he ran routes and caught the ball. He can really run. He's also a kicker (with a solid soccer background)."

Reggie Banks, Shreveport, La., DL, 6-4, 270, 5.0: "He comes from a great high school program. He's what defensive linemen are supposed to look like. Our players did a great job with him when he came to campus. He is big and athletic."

Chris Baker, Osceola, WR, 6-2, 178, 4.36: "We've had him in camp for many years, and he is very, very fast. He's done nothing but win all his high school career. He is remarkable in football, track and basketball."

Michael Coe, Cordova, Tenn., WR, 6-2, 180, 4.47: "His father is the wide receiver coach at Memphis. He comes from a great family. George Pugh knew his father. He's got speed and the hands and the right background."

Charles Walker, DL, Beggs, Okla., 6-3, 275, 5.0: "He has great feet. He plays extremely hard. He reminds me of Curt Davis in the way he plays. He plays to the echo of the whistle, just so hard every play, just a talented player."

Jonathan Barry, Arlington, Tx, DL, 6-6, 220, 4.7: "Bobby Allen did a great job of finding him. He is Patrick Martin's nephew. He is a tremendous athlete who played tailback, wide receiver and linebacker and even some free safety. You ought to see him run. He's an athlete and a diamond in the rough. Not many knew about him before Bobby found him."

Marcus Whitmore, Independence, Kan., CC, LB, 6-1, 215, 4.49: "With Jermaine Petty coming from junior college and making first team All-America, we now have a different shot at juco players. Harold Horton told me that we've had more success with junior college athletes in the last couple of years than they've had here in a long time. Marvin Jackson showed you can come in here and play. Marcus visited early, and then withstood a lot of pressure. Our track record lately is better with junior college players and that helped us. Now, the junior college players want to come here."

Lucas Jackson, W. Monroe, La., LB, 6-0, 215, 4.65: "He will hit you in the face and he has speed. We saw film of him early, and it took about two or three plays for us to make up our mind. He plays like a linebacker should play."

Tyler Morgan, Hot Springs, OL, 6-5, 275, 5.1: "He looks like what you want in the offensive line in this league. He's extremely intelligent. He's played center, guard and tackle. His mother has coaching in her background ... related to Bill Vining, the Ouachita coach."

John Johnson, Houston, Texas, RB, 5-11, 195, 4.3: "I get scared when I hear 4.3, because there aren't many of those. But, he can really run. We've seen it. He's a true track guy in the sprints. We recruited him as an athlete. He played some quarterback, and some other places, too. He's a kick returner."

Brandon Kennedy, Tyler, Tx, FB, 5-11, 225, 4.59: "That's a last name I like. He is related to Kenoy. He is bigger than that now, maybe 235. He is the ideal fullback. He is really fast, too. His mother once scored 63 in a basketball game, and I like to hear that they have parents that were athletes."

Wes Murphy, Springdale, LB, 6-4, 235, 4.7: "He became a recruiter for us, and I hope his mother doesn't send me their phone bill. We'd have coaches call recruits and they would say they just got off the phone with West. He committed early. He will be a linebacker, but he could play tight end, too. He can play a lot of places."

Gene Perry, East Miss., JC, OL, 6-3 1/2, 285, 5.1: "He committed early, and then held off a lot of people. LSU and Mississippi State hit him hard at the end. He is matrue. Coach Pugh went in and got him early. He is a leader and a worker, a mature young man. We think he will play early. He visited early and fell in love with the school, and said he wanted to be in this family. He


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