Las Vegas (NV) Liberty prep defensive end prospect Sam Tai (6-4, 239) rolled the dice Saturday in Fayetteville and came up a winner.
This was his third appearance at the University of Arkansas' Elite camp in as many years and this performance earned him a Razorback offer – one that came Monday.
"(Razorback defensive line) Coach (Steve Caldwell said he was very pleased with how I worked at the camp and he wants to coach me for the next four or five years," Tai said. "I am very excited about this and it is something I have been working toward and looking forward to getting for a long time."
The Arkansas offer vaults the Razorbacks over Colorado to the top of the list for Tai, who now has 10 offers and is a mid-term graduate.
"Definitely Arkansas is number one right now," Tai said. "I just love everything about the place. I have always loved it and it just has everything I am looking for in a football program."
Tai, whose dad played for Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, also has offers from UNLV, Fresno State, San Diego State Colorado State, UTEP, Wyoming, Idaho and Southern Utah.
One of the best things is that Tai is set up to graduate from high school in December and thus would get a head start on his college experience.
"I am actually set up to graduate early so I can start spring ball wherever I choose to go," Tai said.
He loves what he sees of Arkansas, the SEC in general and defensive line coach Bobby Allen.
"I just love the facilities over here, the weight room and the way football is played over here, just how competitive they are and the way the coaches coach over here," Tai said. "I love the defensive line coaches. Coach Allen, we came out here previously and we have kind of got a good connection. It's nice to come out here and play around some coaches that I feel comfortable around."
Tai admits that he wasn't sure how things were going to work out for him after hearing that defensive end coach Kirk Botkin was replaced this winter by Caldwell.
"I was worried because I had a real good relationship with Coach Botkin and I thought he really liked what he saw in me," Tai said. "But I meshed really well with Coach Caldwell and I think he could really be great for me."
Tai, who had 32 tackles and 4 sacks last season, brings some solid attributes to the field, but makes it clear he knows he is not a finished product.
"I am very physical with my hands and everything and my size," Tai said. "I think I bring a lot to the table, but I am coming out here and working hard and feel like I have a lot of room for growth."
While he makes it clear Arkansas is his favorite, he won't commit right away.
"The decision probably won't be until December, until after the season," Tai said. "I want to focus on my season and get everything going through."
He does have hopes of coming to see his first Razorback game this fall on an official visit.
"I'm going to set that up with the coaches," Tai said. "That Alabama game looks pretty good."
Tai Nabs Arkansas Offer
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