THE RECRUITING GUY: Mom’s love of Arkansas keeps Tabb interested

— When Arkansas offered a scholarship to New Jersey tight end Jack Tabb a few weeks ago, his mother, Julie Tabb, who graduated from Lamar High School in Johnson County, was on cloud nine.

Tabb, 6-4, 235 pounds, 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Red Bank Catholic, has approximately 19 offers, including ones from Arkansas, Florida, Boston College, Michigan State, North Carolina and Rutgers.

“She was extremely happy,” said Tabb of his mother, who’s retired from the Army. “She loves the University of Arkansas. She’s really excited about coming down and seeing it.She always watches them on TV, too.”

Tabb, who as a junior had 7 receptions for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns and recorded 52 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks at outside linebacker, attended a high school All-Star game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“I was very excited about the offer; it’s SEC football,” said Tabb, who reports a 295-pound bench press and 395 squat. “I went to the stadium about three years ago, and I loved it. It’s really big, and it seems like a great atmosphere. I’m looking forward to seeing more and learning more about it.”

Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis has impressed Tabb in a short time.

“He’s a really good guy,” said Tabb, who plans to visit Arkansas, Florida, Miami and South Florida along with some Midwest schools this summer. “I like him a lot. We haven’t had that extensive relationship, but I already feel comfortable talking to him.”

More times than not, recruits have the goal of playingin the NFL. Tabb sees Arkansas’ pro-style offense as an asset in his quest to play at the highest level.

“It’s not one my biggest issues, but it definitely does matters to me,” Tabb said. “If you run a pro-style, that’s what you’re going to be running in the pros. It just makes it easier for you to transition and for people to analyze you, and honestly, the tight end is very involved in the pro-style offense, which makes it that much better.”

Tabb is hoping to make his decision before the season based on his unofficial visits.

“We’ll see,” Tabb said. “That’s what I’m hoping for.”

His mother’s ties to the state give Arkansas “a little bit of an advantage,” according to Tabb.

“Absolutely, I’ve been familiar with Arkansas my whole life,” said Tabb, who was born in Japan. “There’s two Hog Wild magnets on my refrigerator right now. It’s always been around me.”


The Razorbacks coaching staff’s honesty was refreshing to defensive lineman Kevin McReynolds when he and his father visited Arkansas on June 25.

McReynolds, 6-3, 280, 4.77, of Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College High School, reports 42 scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Penn State, LSU, Southern California, Maryland and Rutgers.

“What stood out to me was the genuineness of the coaches,” McReynolds said. “That was huge for me. I get told so much during the recruiting process that ‘You’re awesome. You can come in and start right away.’ The way they approached it was ‘You have a chance to come in and start.If you work hard at it, you’ll reap the benefits of that hard work.’”

The Razorbacks’ fan base impressed McReynolds even before his arrival in Fayetteville while at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“The fans were awesome,” said McReynolds, who reports a 435-bench press, 4.57-second pro-shuttle and 30-inch vertical. “I’m sitting in the airport getting ready to go to Fayetteville, and fans were talking to me about the business school. It’s huge. I can see the support.”

While on his visit, McReynolds promised to make a return trip for an official visit.

“I felt real comfortable with the atmosphere,” he said. “I think that’s why Arkansas will be a huge player for me.”

McReynolds described Arkansas’ facilities as “insane.”

“I’ve seen the money put into the program and how much support that goes into the program because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a weightroom that big,” McReynolds said. “The technology there was excellent.”

Head strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp and McReynolds meshed well during the visit.

“He understood where I come from,” McReynolds said. “I don’t do the norm in the weight room. I get bored doing benching and all that. I go out and pull cars. He loves that side of me, and that means a lot to me.”


Springdale Har-Ber offensive tackle Brey Cook will announce his college decision at 6 p.m. today in the school’s seminar room. He will chose between Arkansas and Oklahoma.

KNWA-TV in Fayetteville plans to televise the announcement live.

Cook, 6-7, 314, 5.2, is rated the No. 28 prospect in the nation by CBS College Sports national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.

E-mail Richard Davenport at

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Sports, Pages 15 on 07/06/2010

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