Keeping Talent Home

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about how Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino has his eyes set on Arkansas' ultra-talented 2011 class and has already offered seven in-state prospects. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

It appears that in-state prospects are set to have much more impact on the 2011 University of Arkansas football recruiting class than the 2010 one.

The recent national signing day haul included just five in-state stars, but the Razorbacks have already offered seven in the 2011 class.

That's not likely to be the last of the prospects to get offers in what is regarded as one of the deepest classes ever in the state.

"I think next year's class is a very good class coming up in-state," Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino said. "We are going to make that a major emphasis to recruit the state of Arkansas. There is no question about that."

The seven offered include a trio of offensive linemen in Springdale Har-Ber's Brey Cook (6-7, 300), Bentonville's Marcus Danenhauer (6-5, 295) and Springdale's Mitch Smothers (6-4, 280).

Quarterbacks Brandon Allen (6-3, 205) of Fayetteville and Kiehl Frazier (6-3, 212) of Shiloh Christian and wideouts Demetrius Dean (6-3, 245) of Fayetteville and Dayvon McKinney (6-3, 180) of Forrest City have offers.

Cook (80) and Frazier (101) have already been named to's Top 150 prospects nationally.

"I am real excited about the state of Arkansas and the football and the quality of coaching," Petrino said. "Like I said when I got the job, I couldn't believe how many guys were throwing the ball, the indoor facilities that they have and the job they do coaching."

The Razorbacks will likely always have to supplement in-state talent.

"Unfortunately our population isn't as big as a lot of the schools that we compete against in the SEC," Petrino said. "We have to expand beyond our borders to go find players.

"The way it ended up breaking down (in 2010) was that we signed 5 players from Arkansas, 5 from Oklahoma, 4 from Texas, 3 from Florida, 2 from Alabama, 2 from Georgia, 2 from Louisiana and 1 from North Carolina and (1 from Missouri)," Petrino said. "We certainly had to go different places to find players."

Those five were the Junction City duo of defensive lineman Byran Jones (6-2, 310) and safety Alan Turner (6-0, 185), Russellville kicker Zach Hocker (6-0, 170), Little Rock Catholic tight end Garrett Uekman (6-4, 241) and Heber Springs standout Braylon Mitchell (6-2, 225).

"It always changes according to the number of recruitable athletes that you feel can come in and help you," Petrino said. "I think we signed five from Arkansas and we feel real good about all five of them. They are very, very good football players, good students and can come in and have a chance to compete right away."

O o o

All seven were on hand at Arkansas' hoops game on Saturday as were several out of state juniors.

Some of those were Euless (Texas) tight end Chris Barnett, Jefferson City (MO) Kody Walker, linebackers Steve Edmond of Daingerville (Texas) and Anthony Wallace of Dallas (Texas) Skyline and cornerback Bernard Thomas of Blue Springs, Mo.

There was also at least one 2012 star on hand in Springfield (MO) wideout Dorial Green.

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