What once was a distance race is now a sprint to the finish.
At least 27 football prospects are expected to sign with the University of Arkansas beginning as early as 8 a.m. EST Wednesday morning as the highly-celebrated national signing day finally arrives.
The Razorbacks class – heavy on interior line prospects on both offense and defense – is set to include at least 11 in-state prospects, 7 from Texas, 3 from Florida, 2 from Oklahoma, a pair from Georgia and one each from Alabama and Tennessee.
It is a class that heads into national signing date ranked as the 33rd best class in the country - although offensive lineman Kareem Crowell had not yet been factored in - by Scout.com.
It does not have the big names as it did in 2006, but perhaps defensive tackle Patrick Jones best summed up himself and Arkansas class with this statement made after he committed.
"The way I see it Arkansas and myself are a lot alike," Jones said. "They were an underdog going into the season, nobody was talking about them doing anything and then they reel off 10 victories, win an SEC (Western Division) Championship. They do that with a lot of players that were supposedly 2 and 3 stars guy who just went out and beat up on teams that had all the 4 and 5 star guys. That tells me a lot about their program and their coaching."
The only real remaining drama centers around two players.
Osceola wideout/cornerback Cameron Baker (6-0, 170, 4.3), who will have a 10 a.m. press conference to announce his choice between Arkansas and Memphis.
Little Rock Central's Charles Clay (6-5, 213) said Tuesday night he is still deciding between Arkansas and Miami.
The Razorbacks are set to add five offensive line prospects in Monticello center Seth Oxner (6-5, 295), Jonesboro tackle Grant Cook (6-6, 310), Little Rock Catholic guard Jake Bequette (6-5, 255), Harrison guard Wade Grayson (6-4, 265) and Hargrave Military Academy and former Florida prep offensive tackle Kareem Crowell (6-5, 315).
They are expected to join a pair of Texas prep quarterbacks in Nathan Dick (6-4, 205) of Allen and Joe Chaisson (6-3, 180) of Beaumont West Brook.
The running backs in the 2007 class are slated to be former Texarkana star and current Butler (Kan.) Community College star Brandon Barnett (5-9, 190, 4.4) – who will have three years of eligibility at Arkansas – along with Tulsa Booker T. Washington's Michael Harris (5-9, 190, 4.4) and Juwan Franklin (6-1, 180, 4.4) of Dunnellon, Fla.
The Razorbacks are also adding a versatile performer in CAC's David Williams (6-3, 245), who can play tight end, fullback or H-back, another tight end in Paris star Grant Freeman (6-7, 250) and a wideout in Shiloh Christian's Crosby Tuck (6-1, 180, 4.4).
On the defensive line, it's a collection that will include ends Damario Ambrose (6-5, 250) of Mobile (Ala.) Davidson and Brandon Lampkin (6-4, 240) of Tucker, Ga., and defensive tackles Adrian Campbell (6-5, 255) of Richardson (Texas) Berkner and Patrick Jones (6-2, 290).
A trio of linebackers are slated to sign on the dotted line in Garland (Texas) North Garland's Jermaine Love (5-11, 220), Jenks (Okla.), Tim Dial (6-3, 220) and Morrilton's Freddy Burton (6-3, 185).
The secondary signees are expected to be a trio of safeties in Marion's Jerry Franklin (6-3, 210), Blinn College All-American Walner Leandre (6-1, 220) and Bret Harris (6-0, 200) and a pair of cornerbacks in Isaac Madison (5-10, 180, 4.4) and Greg Gatson, Jr. (5-11, 160, 4.4).
Arkansas is also expected to sign deep snapper Rhett Richardson (6-2, 215) of Rockwall, Texas.
New Batch of Razorbacks
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