Showing Arkansas The Love

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with one of the nation's best prep linebackers in Jermaine Love (5-11, 225, 4.46), who will take an official visit Arkansas in November. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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As one of the nation's top high school linebackers, everybody is showing Jermaine a little Love.

All while wondering, who's going to get the Love back?

Garland (Texas) North Garland senior linebacker Jermaine Love (5-11, 225, 4.46) is one of at least four top prep prospects slated to take official visits to Fayetteville the weekend of Nov. 10-12 when the Razorbacks are hosting Tennessee.

He talks and plays like a linebacker who earned the nickname Hit Man after a junior season in which he had 135 tackles, 9 sacks and 13 quarterback hurries.

"I love to hit," Love told his hometown Garland News paper earlier this season. "My favorite thing about playing football is hitting, hitting and more hitting. On a typical play all I can think about is how hard I'm going to hit somebody and my motto is to arrive with anger."

He joins the Irving McArthur duo of safety Brett Harris (5-11, 180, 4.5) and wideout Ron Brooks (6-0, 170, 4.5) and Silas (Ala.) Southern Choctaw linebacker Terrell Johnson (6-1, 200) as players currently expected to take official visits that weekend.

"I'm hoping that Arkansas comes up with a win," Love said. "That would be nice seeing it happen for them seeing as how the other two places I have gone on official visits have lost while I was there."

Those two visits were to Kansas State and Nebraska, who join Arkansas as seemingly the only three legitimate contenders for Love.

"Texas Tech wants me to look at them, too, and Iowa State wants me to visit in December," Love said, "but really I have been to Nebraska and Kansas State and I think that I'm probably just going to go up to Arkansas for a visit and that will be it. I think I am going to like what I find in Arkansas."

Love says that he has followed the Razorbacks for several years and has watched them play on television against both USC and Auburn this season.

"I have been following them since I was very young and it is a program that is definitely coming up and one that would be fun to be a part of," Love said. "I really like the coaches and it's a very good school. I can't wait to get up there and see everything. I really got excited about them after they beat Auburn."

There are two Razorback players that Love – who plays running back and linebacker on his high school team – has become quite enamored with in Razorback linebacker Sam Olajubutu and tailback Darren McFadden.

Olajubutu (5-9, 220) is the Razorbacks' senior All-American who is the leader of the UA defense.

"I watched him (Olajubutu) run right through two offensive lineman and bust up a running back against USC," Love said. "I was amazed at his play. Arkansas coaches think I am a lot like him, just a little bit bigger and faster. I know they want me to come up there and take his place."

Love is also a big fan of McFadden.

"McFadden just is great," Love said. "He's as good as it gets. I think he is just one of the best there is out there."

It is clear that Love was more impressed with his visit to Nebraska – who lost to Texas on his visit - than he was with his Kansas State one.

" My visit to Nebraska was really good," Love said. "I think they feel good about their future and getting back to where they used to be. Kansas State was nice, too, but a lot smaller than Nebraska and just didn't have a big-time a feel as Nebraska did."

Arkansas is also known to have interest in North Garland wideout Hubert Anyiam (6-0, 180), who has visited Nebraska and Kansas State as well and who is also interested in Iowa State, Alabama and Notre Dame.

Anyiam has caught 51 passes for 929 yards and 10 touchdowns this season with a big 8 catch, 181-yard night in Friday night's loss 34-31 loss to Rockwall.

That left North Garland (4-4, 3-2) still alive for the playoffs.

"We just have to take care of winning games," Love said. "That's my main focus right now."

Love, who has 61 tackles and has rushed for 229 yards this season, has suffered through several injuries this fall, including a sore hamstring and a broken hand.

"I'm getting back to almost 100 percent," Love said. "I've learned to play through pain this season."

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