Big-Time Recruiting Weekend

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about the 22 recruits that will visit Arkansas this weekend and recently committed defensive end Brandon Lampkin of Tucker, Ga. 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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When Tucker (Ga.) prep defensive end Brandon Lampkin became the University of Arkansas' 15th commit of the 2007 class last week, it was a clear signal to me to start counting the spots.

In other words, there are only about 10 or so more names that are going to appear on that list and probably half of those are going to taken up by guys who will be playing in the secondary.

That would only leave room for five more spots for basically the best players left out there.

A lot of those best players left out there will be here this upcoming weekend when around 22 players take official visits to Fayetteville – only six of which are already committed to the Razorbacks.

"We are probably going to get five or so more that will be defensive backs, but after that you are basically looking at getting difference makers with those last five or so spots no matter what position," notes Chris Vaughn, the UA's director of on-campus recruiting. "We certainly feel like we have some of those on the radar."

Indeed this weekend's official visitors are likely to include a couple of uncommitted in-state studs in Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 305) and Osceola wideout Cam Baker (6-0, 160).

It's also heavy on Louisiana prep stars with West Monroe cornerback Terry Carter (5-10, 170), safety Stefoin Francois (6-0, 190, 4.5) of Reserve East St. John and defensive tackle Rolando Melancon (6-1, 270, 4.85) of Lutcher.

Texas will be represented well with Garland (Texas) North Garland linebacker Jermaine Love (5-11, 225), Oklahoma State cornerback commit Issac Madison (5-10, 180, 4.5) of Dallas Carter and tailback Shawnbrey McNeal (5-10,180, 4.4), a Texas A&M commit from James Madison High in Dallas.

There's also Tulsa Booker T. Washington tailback Michael Harris (5-9, 190), College of Sequoias (Calif.) safety Marshon Royal (6-1, 200, 4.55), Fayette-Ware (Tenn.) cornerback Wade Bonner (5-10, 180, 4.5) and Indianapolis Central tight end Adrian Robinson (6-5, 225, 4.5), a player that UA offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has been on since last spring.

Those who have already made verbal pledges to be Razorbacks slated to take their official visits this weekend include a quartet of offensive linemen in Monticello's Seth Oxner (6-5, 290, Jonesboro's Grant Cook (6-6, 310, Harrison's Wade Grayson (6-4, 260) and Little Rock Catholic's Jake Bequette (6-5, 250).

Also slated to be on hand are Razorback verbal pledges in CAC tight end/fullback D.J. Williams (6-3, 245), Morrilton linebacker Freddy Burton (6-3, 195) and Marion safety Jerry Franklin (6-3, 215) along with his fullback teammate Darcel Johnson (5-9, 230).

O o o

Lampkin (6-5, 250, 4.75) became the Razorbacks' 15th verbal pledge of the 2007 recruiting class when he chose Arkansas over Louisville, Kentucky, Southern Mississippi and East Carolina.

Razorback coaches no doubt hope he will have the same impact down the line that former Peach State prep standouts have had for the UA squad this season in All-American linebacker Sam Olajubutu and defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell.

"I am very excited that I am going to be a Razorback," Lampkin said. "They have a young team that accomplished so much this season and the core of that team is coming back and they are going to do great things next season and in the future."

Lampkin played both defensive end and tight end this season for one of Georgia's most storied football programs this decade, tries to be humble about his ability.

"I don't really like to talk about myself as an individual player because I want to be about the team," Lampkin said. "But if you pin me down on what my strengths are, I would say the biggest one is my work ethic and how I am just constantly trying to get better."

"I also feel like I play hard from snap to whistle," Lampkin said. "People call me a hot motor player. I play with a lot of energy and my motor just goes from the kickoff to the end of the game and sometimes beyond. I get some revved up about playing that I am still into it and still trying to calm down after the games are over."

Lampkin, who will be making his first trip to Fayetteville when he takes his official visit on Jan. 12-14, committed to Arkansas off of its success this season, the research he has done about the school and the program and because of Razorback defensive line Tracy Rocker.

"He really impressed my family and I when he sit down to talk with us and give us all the details about Arkansas," Lampkin said. "We got a really good vibe from him. He came by the school in the spring and let us know he was interested and I was just waiting for the day that Arkansas would offer."

That official offer came on Monday, Dec. 3 and he was committed soon afterwards.

"Coach Rocker came on Tuesday and I heard he was downstairs and ran down and let him know that I was going to be a Razorback," Lampkin said. "I'm pretty pumped about having it out of the way and being able to go to the school I wanted to all along."

At 250 pounds, Lampkin could remain a defensive end or add weight and slide inside.

"I feel like I can play anywhere that they want me to play," said Lampkin. "They can put me at defensive end or defensive tackle. It really doesn't matter to me. I just want to go up there and play football."

Lampkin is looking forward to being coached by Rocker.

"I've heard a lot about Coach Rocker and how good he was back in the day," Lampkin said. "I think – especially since this was just my second year to play defense – that he is going to be able to do great things with me when it comes to technique. I know I am going to get some great coaching and be better for it."

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