Arkansas Wows Wingo

St. Louis prep tailback Ronnie Wingo, Jr. (6-3, 212, 4.4) found out Thursday on his visit to the University of Arkansas that he is just what Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino is looking for in a big back.

Hold off on that Ronnie Wingo, Jr., commitment to Missouri just yet.

A St. Louis (Mo.) University High School star tailback, Wingo (6-3, 212, 4.4) said he was on the verge of committing to the Tigers, but trips to Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas this week have him slowing down the process.

"I was 90 percent sure I was going to sign with Mizzou at the start of this week, but my dad talked me into taking this two trips before making a commitment," Wingo, Jr., said. "That percentage has backed way down. These two schools have really opened my eyes."

Wingo, who rushed for 1,575 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior and is the 11th-best running back in the country and a top 100 player nationally per, took in Arkansas on Thursday after visiting Oklahoma on Wednesday.

"They are both just great schools and I am so glad I took these visits," Wingo said. "They just have so much going for them. They are both have great football programs and great facilities and campuses."

It's clear that Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino left a lasting impression on Wingo.

"He kept saying I am the big back he is looking for and that all the guys he had now were like 5-9 and 5-10 scatbacks," Wingo said. "He also just kept saying I need a big back and I need you. He said it over and over again and it made me feel great."

Wingo met with Petrino, UA running backs coach Tim Horton and UA quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee.

"My dad and I just sit down and had a great coversation with the Coach Petrino and his assistants," Wingo said. "They have a great plan for the future and they really made it clear how much they want me to be a part of that."

Wingo said Petrino has big plans for the Arkansas program.

"He told me that the were getting new offices for the coaches, a new conference room for them to meet in, new locker rooms – he just want's everything to be the best that it can be," Wingo said. "They have a great weight room and a great stadium. In fact, they have two stadiums, which is something I didn't no. He wants everything to be first class. He was very impressive talking about how he wants to do things."

Wingo has a trip scheduled to Alabama next week and then possibly could visit Minnesota.

"I think I will probably sit down after that or even next week if I don't go to Minnesota and come up with a list of about 5 to 7 teams," Wingo said. "I know there's Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois as schools I really like."

This was the first trip to Arkansas for Wingo, whose main knowledge of the Razorbacks beforehand consisted of what great backs former UA stars Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were at Arkansas.

Both of those guys were NFL first-round draft choices with McFadden now in Oakland and Jones a Dallas Cowboys.

"Arkansas is a great school for running backs and those were two of the best in the country last season," Wingo said. "That certainly got my attention. It certainly sounds like Coach Petrino wants me to be the next great one there."

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