Weekend visit solidifies RB's interest in Hogs

Posted: February 27, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Arkansas head coach Chad Morris during pregame before the 4A State Championship in Little Rock. Special to the Democrat-Gazette/JIMMY JONES

Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Chad Morris and his staff hosted one of the most impressive lists of prospects to ever visit Fayetteville over the weekend.

A key target, running back Marcus Major Jr. of Oklahoma City Millwood, visited Saturday. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is now his top choice.

He was accompanied by his father; brother Isaiah, a junior athlete at Millwood; and junior receiver DeMariyon Houston.

"The visit was actually a lot more than we even expected," Marcus Major Sr. said. "He was very impressed. We all were. Everybody was welcoming. Any doubts or any reservations we had coming into it, they were put to rest.

"The time we got to the city of Fayetteville, everybody was so welcoming. The staff was as honest as we've come across in this whole process. We really appreciated that. It was A-plus."

Major, 6-0, 190 pounds, has 15 scholarship offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Southern Cal, Michigan, Baylor, TCU and others. He rushed 100 times for 1,250 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior.

Arkansas coaches have let Major know they're only taking one running back in the 2019 class while letting him know he's a priority despite them recruiting others at his position.

"So it's not a situation to where we can just rest on our laurels and just sit around and be ignorant and cocky about our value," Majors Sr. said. "This is a business at the end of the day, too, and these guys have to get their players and get the best players they can get with the best character and best football players as well."

The elder Major praised associate head coach and running backs coach Jeff Traylor, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. and offensive quality control assistant Julian Griffin for their honesty about the recruiting process.

"They've been kind of like resources to us as far as the information in general among this whole process," Major Sr. said. "Even when it comes to other schools as well. I can call coach Lunney and Marcus can call coach Traylor and we can ask 'Hey, this school is telling us this. What do you think? Is this true?' "

The trip to Fayetteville has the Razorbacks in the lead for the younger Major's signature.

"They're clearly on the top," Major Sr. said. "They're at the top of the chain for sure. As for me, as a dad, they've appealed to me from the beginning, but Marcus is a visual learner, so when we got up there and was able to see and feel the love and able to see the family-oriented environment around there ... that was what made the difference for him."

The Razorbacks were the second school to extend a scholarship offer to Major on Jan. 8 and were the first Power Five school to do so.

"They were the first ones that kind of appealed to Marcus and offered Marcus," Major Sr. said. "The first Power Five offer. So they've always been at the top of the food chain, but this just kind of solidified that."

If his son decides to sign with the Hogs, Major Sr. approves.

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "My job as a father is to filter all of the bull crap, and there's a lot of bandwagon schools that are just coming on just because the other school offered so we ought to offer.

"So I understand the game, so my job as a father is to filter who I think is not authentic, and Arkansas doesn't fall into that category. Arkansas falls into the category of these guys are legit, they're authentic and they want you because they think you're a good football player and not because such and such offered."

Major Sr. said Arkansas and two other schools are under consideration, but he did not reveal the other two.

"I'll leave that for him to disclose, but Arkansas is definitely at the top of that three," he said.

The original timeframe for a college decision was early summer, but that may not be the case now.

"We may be talking like a month or so now," Major Sr. said. "We don't want to wait too long, but at the same time he's just started the process. These 15 offers have come literally in the last 60 days."

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com.

Sports on 02/27/2018