FOOTBALL: Raggett Latest To Join Hogs' List

FAYETTEVILLE All Chris Raggett wanted was a chance to prove himself.

Arkansas is giving him that.

Raggett (5-foot-11, 190 pounds, 4.5 seconds 40-yard dash), of Beaumont (Texas) Ozen High, who visited Fayetteville this past weekend, received a scholarship offer from the Razorbacks on Tuesday and promptly committed and is slated to be among at least 22 players who sign with the Razorbacks today on National Signing Day.

He had previously committed to McNeese State, but Arkansas, Texas A&M and Baylor had all been sniffing around at the end.

"McNeese is great, but I always wanted to go DI and believe I can play on that level," Raggett said. "Arkansas is a great program and I feel blessed to just get to visit. I just put it in God's hands."

Arkansas assistant coach Kirk Botkin got the ball rolling with Raggett, who suffered recruiting wise because he did not get to play varsity action his junior year because of transfer rules.

"Coach Botkin came to my school and really got me interested," Raggett said. "I liked what he had to say, so I had to come up on a visit and check it out."

Arkansas is apparently looking for Raggett to help from the last line of defense.

"They are thinking the safety position," Raggett said. "I played safety in high school so I will be used to it and just have to make the transition from the high school to college level. But I can play cornerback if that is where they need me."

Raggett knows there are things he needs to work on to be able to make an impact in the Southeastern Conference.

"Coming from high school, you have to get bigger and stronger, faster, get out of your breaks quicker ... just everything," Raggett said. "I think running track this year will help with all that."

Some Late Additions?

Arkansas will hear today the decisions of Central Arkansas Christian standout Joe Adams (6-1, 180, 4.4), Alphretta (Ga.) Chattahoochee defensive end/wideout Steven Fowlkes (6-5, 215) and Florida RB/CB Albert Gary and Guthrie (Okla.) standout Kye Staley.

Each of those players has Arkansas in their final two or three schools.

Ford Ready To Sign

Like most college football prospects, Elton Ford is really looking forward to today.

That's when Ford (6-0, 200, 4.47), a safety prospect from Alpharetta (Ga.) Chattahoochee will sign his letter-of-intent with Arkansas.

"I just loved everything up there on my visit and know it is where I need to be," Ford, who officially visited Arkansas on Jan. 25-27, said. "I was impressed with coaching staff, the players, the facilities, the business program and the academic situation, which is very important to me because you have got to have something to hold onto besides football."

Ford had 107 tackles, 9 pass deflections and 4 interceptions as a linebacker this season for Chattahoochee while also rushing for 593 yards and five scores after transferring from Lithonia High.

He was named the North Fulton County Player of the Year while playing for Arkansas grad Terry Crowder and says the Arkansas coaches have him penciled in to play defense.

"They are strictly looking at me at safety," Ford said. "I think that is going to be a good spot for me in college."

Ford, who flipped his commitment from North Carolina State after he visited Arkansas, will sign his letter-of-intent early today.

"I am going to go over and get together with my head coach and get it sent on up there," Ford said. "It's going to be a fun day."

It's About Family

Camden Fairview tailback De'Anthony Curtis removed any doubt Monday night about where he was playing his college football.

"It's about family and staying close to family in Arkansas," Curtis told Robert Allen of GoPokes.com about his decision to pick Arkansas over Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. "I'm already a household name here in Arkansas, so I wanted to keep my name in Arkansas."

Curtis and his Camden Fairview teammates Jim Youngblood and LaVunce Askew will sign with the Razorbacks at 10 a.m.

DUDLEY E. DAWSON IS A STAFF WRITER FOR HAWGS ILLUSTRATED, A STEPHENS MEDIA PUBLICATION. HIS RECRUITING COLUMN APPEARS EACH WEDNESDAY. E-MAIL: DEDSPORTS@AOL.COM

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