By the time the University of Arkansas football program finishes its scrimmage Saturday morning, it could be up to 16 commits in the 2011 class.
Jefferson City (MO) running back Kody Walker (6-1, 230) and Neville (LA) defensive tackle DeMarcus Hodge (6-1, 295) are both set to announce their decisions early Saturday.
Walker is a bruising runner who will decide between the Razorbacks and Missouri and fits the big back mold that UA head coach Bobby Petrino likes.
"Arkansas has had some great backs in the past like Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and has a great one there now in Ronnie Wingo, who is from Missouri like me," Walker said. "I really like what they are doing with their offense and think that would be a great program to play for in college."
Walker rushed for 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
That included 83 yards and what proved to be a game-winning, 4th-and-1 touchdown run late in a 20-18 win at Fayetteville.
That came a week after going for 151 yards on 15 carries against Springdale.
"I think people think I am just a big power back, but I think I have the speed to get out and make plays," Walker said.
He has become very close with Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton along with assistant strength and conditioning coach Antoine Sharp.
"Coach Horton has really kept in touch with me throughout the recruiting process and is always talking about how much he wants to coach me," Walker said. "He says that every single time and it has really made me feel wanted. I also really like Coach Sharpe. Those are some great guys."
Walker has visited Arkansas twice unofficially, including two weeks ago.
"It went great," Walker said of that visit. "I just think they have great facilities, have a great relationship with the coaches and feel like Arkansas is a program that is really going to take off."
He has visited with Wingo about Arkansas.
"Ronnie loves it there, but he is not trying to pressure me into coming," Walker said. "He basically says it's a great place and if I feel like it is the best situation for me, he would welcome me with open arms."
Walker also likes the fact that the Razorbacks are in the SEC.
"The SEC has proven what a great league it is with all the national championships," Walker said. "That would be playing against the best."
Missouri, where he took an unofficial visit last Saturday, certainly has his interest as well.
"It is close to home and I have a very good relationship with the coaches," Walker said. "They wanted me to come over one more time before I announced my decision."
Walker said he has bounced back and forth between his two finalists.
"I've gone back and forth," Walker said. "One time I will feel great about one school and then I will start thinking about the other again. They are both great schools."
O o o
If Arkansas lands Hodge, it will add to a solid run of committed talent on the defensive line.
The Razorbacks have already landed defensive ends Grady Ollison (6-4, 274) Of Malvern and Darrell Kelly-Thomas (6-4, 220) of Lufkin, Texas along with defensive tackles Robert Thomas (6-2, 310) of Coffeyville (KA) Community College and Austin Beck (6-8, 295) of Noweta, Okla.
Hodge will decided between Arkansas, TCU and Mississippi State – the Hogs, Frogs or Dogs.
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