It's been quite the past few days for Russellville punter/kicker Zach Hocker.
He took an official visit to the University of Hawaii and on his way home finds out that he finally had gotten his dream offer to the University of Arkansas.
So Monday morning after visiting with Cyclones head coach Jeff Holt for about 90 minutes, he changed his commitment from Arkansas State to the Razorbacks.
"It was a really tough decision for him because he had committed to Arkansas State and developed a great relationship with those coaches," Holt said, "but in the end, it had always been his dream to be a Razorback and it's just great it worked out for him in the end."
Hocker was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Defensive Player of the Year after a senior season in which he flipped the field constantly for Russellville.
He made 15-of-23 field goals this past campaign while averaging 44.5 yards per punt. Hocker also had only five kickoffs return this season.
"Being named the Defensive Player of the Year says a lot, but he could also easily have been named the Offensive Player of the Year," Holt said. "He was just that good.
"He constantly flipped the field for us with his punting, had 97 percent of his kickoffs turn into touchbacks and drilled important field goals for us," Holt said. "He was really a great weapon for us. He made everybody need to go 80 yards against us and that was big in our success."
Hocker, who attended several Razorback games on unofficial visits this past season, had talked earlier about how the biggest part of his game that needed to improve was his punting.
He went out and got that done.
"It's interesting that Arkansas ends up offering him a punter because I think that is where his potential is the greatest," Holt said. "He went out and improved his average 12 yards this season from last season. That just shows you the work ethic he has and I just think he is going to continue to get better."
Hocker to Arkansas
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