Early Evaluations

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with University of Arkansas recruiting coordinator Tim Horton about the spring evaluation period. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free, as is an offer to attend a Razorback game. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

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Now that the evaluations have been done, it's time to share.

That is what is taking place this week as the University of Arkansas football staff – fresh off being out four weeks – are putting all their information together.

"It was a great evaluation period for us," Razorback recruiting coordinator Tim Horton said. "There were some kids we knew about, but we didn't know all we needed to.

"We were able to get in the high school, visit with the counselors, watch them practice, see their work habits," Horton added. "We now feel better about the ones we have offered, the ones we are close to offering if they come up to camp and do what we think and in all honesty, the ones we don't want to offer.

"We are better educated on what we are going to do now and that's what we started doing today is getting it all together and sharing that info," Horton continued."

The Razorback assistants hit several different states during the evaluation period.

Garrick McGee spent his time in Oklahoma with an emphasis on Tulsa; Mike Summers was in Dallas and hit some spots in Northwest Arkansas while Kirk Botkin hit the Houston area.

Bobby Allen was in North Louisiana, East Texas and Southwest Arkansas while Paul Petrino handled the Florida Panhandle and John L. Smith Central and South Florida.

Reggie Johnson was in Memphis and Alabama with some stops in Mississippi , Willy Robinson hit South Louisiana and selected spots in California while Horton concentrated his time on the in-state prospects.

They have now taken a targets list of thousands down to 400 or so and that list will be culled down more.

"After getting together and discussing all the prospects, we all have a better feel for the direction we are going to go," Horton said. "Starting today, some guys moved up, some guys moved down and we have a better handle on who we like more than others."

This was the first year that NCAA head coaches could not be out which meant that Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino minded the store so to speak.

"I know he would have loved to have been out there, but as long as everybody is under the same rules, you work with it," Horton said. "I know Coach Petrino watched a lot of video and made a lot of calls – the one call we can make to the prospects each week."

Coming up on June 7-9 is an Arkansas football camp for those in the 9th-12th grades that will host a ton of prospects with another set for just upperclassman on July 19.

"Camps are a vital part of our recruiting because it allows the kids to get to know us and we get to know them," Horton said. "It is a lot easier for some of these kids, especially those out-of-state, to get up during the summer than on the weekends during the season.

"We'll also have guys like (2009 UA signee) Ronnie Wingo, who won't make it down for camp, but we'll have a chance to come visit during the summer," Horton said. "We always like our chances better if we can get them on campus and they see all we have to offer."

Arkansas is expected to sign 18-20 prospects in the 2010 class.

"Things could change, but I think that is a pretty accurate assessment right now," Horton said.

o o o

The spring signing for basketball was over on May 20 with the Razorbacks adding four signees or transfers to their original three signed during the fall.

Arkansas sent out a press release on Tuesday with head coach John Pelphrey talking about Jeff Peterson (6-0, 192), the Iowa transfer and last of the seven.

Peterson, who must redshirt next season, started all 25 games he played in for the Hawkeyes and averaged 10.6 points, 4.2 assists (7th in the Big 10), 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 2009.

"Jeff Peterson is a very good addition to the Razorback program and we're excited to have him," Pelphrey said in the release. "He obviously has to sit out next year, but he started in the Big Ten this year and had a good season. In two years, we'll be adding a guard who played in more than 50 games at Iowa and averaged more than 10 points as a sophomore. He's an outstanding student as well and will have a positive impact on and off the court even this upcoming season while he's sitting out but practicing with us."

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