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story.lead_photo.caption Noah Banks

It’s become apparent that the Arkansas coaching staff is now looking for older, experienced help on both the offensive line and at linebacker.

In the past month, the Razorbacks have offered scholarships to a pair of junior college offensive linemen in Iowa Western’s Noah Banks (6-foot-7, 290 pounds) and Arizona Western’s Jahmir Johnson (6-5, 290), as well as two defensive end/linebackers in City College of San Francisco’s Jordan Allen (6-5,

240) and Tucson (Ariz.) Pima Community College’s Bryant Pirtle (6-3, 240).

Pirtle, who played his high school football in Louisville, Ky., is having a big season with 36 tackles through four games after being moved to linebacker this season.

“He changed positions and is learning and getting better each week,” said Patrick Ryden, Pima’s defensive coordinator. “He is a big, fast, physical kid that is a legit 4.5 kid. He is just a prototypical linebacker and is going to really be a player for somebody.”

Pima’s opportunistic defense has recovered 13 fumbles with seven interceptions for a 2-4 team that plays Snow (Utah) College this Saturday.

“[Pirtle] is a big part of what we do,” Ryden said. “We are blitzing from all over the place and he gets to the quarterback a lot.

“We have been pretty good defensively. Somebody told me that we were third in the country in total defense last week. Obviously, our record is not what we want it to be and we dropped one last week we should have won.”

Arkansas is one of Pirtle’s 23 offers with Arizona, Arizona State and Louisville among those in the mix.

“I think he is more of an outside guy,” Ryden said. “We run a 3-3 and a little bit of a 4-3 and he is an outside guy for us. We do move him up at times and let him rush the passer, and that is probably his strength.

“His biggest thing he had to get better at was stepping into the gap and filling for us against the run, but he is really coming on and doing a good job with that.”

Pirtle plans to take a visit to Arkansas after the season. He is slated to graduate in December and would have three years to play two.

“He really has a chance to be a great player on the next level,” Ryden said. “He looks like what a linebacker is suppose to and he makes plays all over the field. He’s a joy to coach.”

Dudley Dawson is the recruiting editor for Hawgs Illustrated magazine.

Print Headline: Hogs eyeing JUCO prospects for help

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