Relationship Building

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Jonesboro defensive tackle Chuks Ota (6-3, 295), one of several 2014 prospects expected to take unofficial visits Saturday to meet with the new Razorback football coaching staff.

The new Arkansas football coaching staff will continue their meet-and-greet sessions with 2014 recruits this Saturday in Fayetteville.

Jonesboro defensive lineman Chuks Ota (6-2, 295) is among a dozen or so junior prospects expected to take unofficial visits to Fayetteville to talk with new Razorback head football coach Bret Bilema and his coaching staff, tour the facilities and also take in the sold-out Arkansas-Kentucky basketball game at Bud Walton Arena.

"I got a chance to see (Arkansas tight ends) Coach Barry Lunney when he came by the school, but I am really excited to meet Coach Bielema and the rest of the coaching staff," Ota said. "They seem to be a staff that really knows what they are doing and I am excited about starting a relationship with them."

The new staff has already visited on campus with defensive tackles Josh Frazier (6-5, 330) of Springdale Har-Ber and Bijohn Jackson (6-3, 320) – a Razorback commit from El Dorado.

They also had the opportunity to host Bolivar (MO) quarterback Rafe Peavey (6-2, 205) – another Razorback 2014 commit – as well as Greenwood signal caller Jabe Burgess, who came to Fayetteville on Wednesday morning and sit down with both Bielema and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

Among those expected to be on hand Saturday are Ota, the North Little Rock duo of 2014 Razorback tailback commit Juan Day (6-1, 210) and cornerback Kavan Alexander (5-10, 182), Springdale Har-Ber defensive end Jake Hall (6-5, 245), Springdale athlete DeAndre Murray and linebacker Christian Sam (6-2, 205) of Allen, Texas.

Also expected to show up are Russellville athletes Jalen Curtis (5-10, 175) and Drew Smith (6-3, 215), Jonesboro's D.J. Anderson (5-9, 180), Little Rock Catholic tight end Aaron Hamaker (6-6, 260) and 2015 tight end Will Gragg (6-3, 215) of Pine Bluff.

Gragg - the brother of Razorback tight end Chris Gragg - already has an offer from the Razorbacks.

Due in the following Saturday are Warren offensive lineman Jhamahl Bell (6-4, 290) and Fort Smith Southside quarterback Isaac Jackson (6-3, 215), who could also be a wide receiver in college.

Ota, who came to Jonesboro four years ago from Indiana and who already has posted a 29 on his ACT, is coming off a season at Jonesboro in which he over 50 tackles.

"Last season we had a pretty good year and made it into the state semifinals before losing to Pine Bluff," Ota said. "I really enjoyed being around our team and we have an incredible group of guys."

Ota is currently getting interest from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas State as well as Ouachita Baptist.

"I don't have any offers yet, but all of those have told me of their interest in me and that I need to just work hard and keep after it this off-season," Ota said. "Arkansas told me that I am definitely on their board and I'm excited about that."

Ota notes that his strength is the best part of his game – he can squat over 500 pounds and bench presses just under 400.

But has a pair of things he is concentrating on this off-season.

"I need to work on my speed and my agility," Ota said. "A lot of times I can just over power a guy, but I know that as I get closer to playing in college it is going to be more about technique and agility because everyone is going to have strength up on that level. I just try to get better every day."

Chuks Ota

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