Arkansas Releases 24 Signees

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt signed 24 players -- half of them line prospects -- on Wednesday, Feb. 5, the first day players could sign national letters of intent to play college football.

Houston Nutt said the Hogs would have liked to have signed "one or two more linemen," but he was pleased with what they signed as far as line help.

"Because we didn't get one or two more, we will try to look at a few of these (that are listed as offensive linemen) on the defensive line first," Nutt said. "Jeremy Palmoore will start out on defense for sure, and there are some others that we will look at on defense first, too, although they may end up with offense."

Nutt also indicated that Jonathan Barry, already in school, will count in this year's recruiting class. He is a 6-6 by 285 pounder who will start out at defensive end.

"Bobby Allen says he's up to 285 and he can really run," Nutt said. "Bobby did a good job of staying on him this fall when others were coming in on him and trying to recruit him. The junior colleges were trying to enroll him and that would have kept him from us for two years. So Bobby recruited him all fall. He really looks good, too, and is going to be a massive guy who can really run. He's still skinny at 285."

Nutt said he felt like the Hogs signed "the best players in Memphis" where assistant coach Danny Nutt hit some home runs with the likes of Ivora Hall, Jeremy Palmoore and Kevin Woods.

One of the major needs concerned speed at wide receiver, and the Hogs addressed that with the signing of Chris Baker and Willie Hordge. Both have blazing speed. Hargrave Academy coaches told Nutt and his staff that Baker was the rave of the fall.

"They had a hard time keeping other coaches away from him with the way he played," Nutt said. "But, Chris told them he was going to be a Razorback and going back home. He didn't want to talk to anyone, and people like Virginia Tech, North Carolina and others were wanting him badly.

"Chris Baker has the deep speed we need. He put on 12 pounds and he's run 4.2 for their coaches. I don't know about 4.2s, but he's fast."

Hordge has similar speed. He's been clocked at 10.1 in the 100 meters and that is among the nation's fastest high school times.

"He's a kick returner, a wide receiver or a cornerback," Nutt said. "He's got the speed we need to get deep."

As far as the linemen, Nutt said there is good size in this class and there is room to grow, too.

"We've got some big boys here, and a lot of them look like Wayne Martin did ... great speed, great feet and room to grow. They are big, but still skinny. Many of these were heavily recruited, but they committed early and said they wanted to be Razorbacks and that meant a lot. Some of them, like Keith Jackson, made early decisions and became recruiters for the University of Arkansas."

Nutt was asked about negative recruiting after going over the class and showing the highlight tape of the signees. He said it was different than in the past.

"I hadn't seen it like it was this year," he said. "It was always out there. Some of the kids were so funny about it ... they said, 'We've already been told about all the bad things about Arkansas. Tell me something good ... or tell me the bad stuff about Alabama or about this school.' We don't do that.

"To some, that is still a good thing, to go in and talk positive about your school and leave that stuff alone. We saw it more this year. We saw it heavily from four schools (in the SEC) and several more (from the Big 12)."

It was clear that the Big 12 school that hit Arkansas hard on the negative side was Texas A&M and new coach Dennis Franchionne. He seemed to champion the negative recruiting in Arkansas' case this year, along with Phil Fulmer with Tennessee. Nutt didn't mention any coaches by name, but it was clear who he was speaking about and the disappointment he held for these tactics and his promise not to dip into their recruiting tricks.

 

Here are the players Arkansas signed to NCAA letters of intent:

Chris Baker, WR, 6-2, 205, Osceola, Ark., Hargrave Military Academy.

Robert Felton, OG, 6-4, 325, Houston, Cypress Creek, Texas.

Nate Garner, OL, 6-6, 290, Roland, Ark., Pulaski Robinson.

Matt Gilbow, OL, 6-7, 275, Jonesboro, Ark.

Rodney Giles, DE, 6-4, 235, Hot Springs, Ark.

Anthony Gray, LB, 6-3, 220, Dumas, Ark.

Ivora Hall, Jr., DT, 6-2, 305, Memphis, Hamilton, Tenn.

Terrance Hampton, WR, 6-0, 185, Warren, Ark.

Jeremy Harrell, DL, 6-3, 300, Texarakana, Texas.

Marcus Harrison, DL, 6-3, 285, Little Rock, Mills, Ark.

Willie Hordge, WR, 5-10, 170, Houston, Forrest Brook, Texas.

Chris Houston, CB, 5-11, 175, Austin, LBJ, Texas.

Farod Jackson, FB, 6-2, 235, Little Rock, Mills, Ark.

Keith Jackson, Jr., DL, 6-1, 260, Little Rock, McClellan, Ark.

Robert Johnson, QB, 6-3, 205, Waco, Texas.

Brannon Kidd, CB, 5-11, 175, Crossett, Ark.

Landon Leach, QB, 6-2, 190, Russellville, Ark.

Derek Moore, DL, 6-3, 230, Fort Smith, Southside, Ark.

Duston Moore, OT, 6-4, 336, Brenham, Texas.

Jeremy Palmoore, OL, 6-6, 316, Memphis, Hamilton, Tenn.

Titus Peebles, DT, 6-2, 300, Swainsboro, Ga., Georgia Military Academy.

Jacob Skinner, P, 6-3, 185, Texarakana, Texas.

Mason Templeton, TE, 6-6, 230, Burnet, Texas.

Kevin Woods, FS, 5-11, 190, Memphis, Fairley, Tenn.


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