The Recruiting Guy

Arkansas coaches chow down during visits

Arkansas coaches Cody Kennedy, Barry Odom, Sam Pittman and Michael Scherer did an in-home visit with linebacker commitment Carson Dean.
Arkansas coaches Cody Kennedy, Barry Odom, Sam Pittman and Michael Scherer did an in-home visit with linebacker commitment Carson Dean.

Several Arkansas football commitments are expected to host Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman and his staff for visits Sunday, and it appears the food will be plentiful.

Arkansas offensive line commitment Paris Patterson and his family enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant with Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy.

Patterson rated his burger a 10 out of 10. 

“It was a great visit. We had lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse,” Patterson said. “Me and Coach Pittman tried their bacon burger and fries. We actually laughed. We felt as if our food looked better then everyone else's.” 

Patterson, 6-5, 340 pounds, of East St. Louis High School, chose Arkansas over offers from LSU, Iowa State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Tulane, Miami (Ohio) and other schools in July. He received an offer from Colorado, and newly hired coach Deion Sanders extended an offer today. 

He and the Flyers won the school’s 10th state title on Nov. 26 with a 57-7 victory over Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge to capture the Class 6A state championship. 

Patterson said he plans to report to Fayetteville on Jan. 13. 

“We discussed move-in dates and how things would kind of go on my first day,” Patterson said. “We watched plays from my state (title) game. Both Coach Kennedy and Pittman love seeing me pull and get out in open space and crush defenders, and we also got the joy in receiving the bowl game news together.

“Everyone was thrilled and had an amazing (time).”

Four Arkansas coaches visited linebacker commitment Carson Dean on Sunday afternoon. 

Dean, 6-3, 232 of Carrollton (Texas) Hebron, hosted Pittman, defensive coordinator Barry Odom, linebackers coach Michael Scherer and Kennedy for an in-home visit. 

“When Coach Kennedy comes to a defensive player's house, it’s a good sign,” Dean said. “All the coaches said they are at Arkansas to stay.”

Dean, 6-4, 232 pounds, of Carrollton (Texas) Hebron, had scholarship offers from Texas, TCU, Ole Miss, LSU, Baylor, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Indiana and other programs before pledging to the Razorbacks in March.

He said he was a little nervous about previous reports of Odom being a candidate for the Tulsa job. Reports today said Tulsa and Odom could not come to terms. 

“A little, just knowing I could lose Coach Odom and Coach Scherer, who’s been recruiting me the whole time and I’ve gotten close with him,” said Dean, who plans to report to Fayetteville on Jan. 13. 

Dean, who picked Arkansas over offers Texas, TCU, Ole Miss, LSU, Baylor, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Indiana and other programs, said he and his family catered Mi Cocina, which is Scherer’s favorite Mexican restaurant in the Dallas area. 

“He’d been saving up for it all day,” Dean said of Scherer. “I think Odom was more excited than he was, though.”

Consensus 4-star cornerback commitment Jaylon Braxton and his family went to Cowboy Club at The Star complex with Pittman, Odom and cornerbacks coach Dominique Bowman on Sunday evening. 

“I love the coaches' personalities and their presence. Always good to be around them,” Braxton said. “Ready to get up there and get started.” 

Braxton, 6-0, 175, of Frisco (Texas) Lone Star, flipped his commitment from Michigan State in July after visiting Arkansas in June. He also had offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Penn State and numerous other programs. 

Braxton plans to report to Fayetteville on Jan. 13. 

“The opportunity to play as a freshman is wide open,” Braxton said of what Arkansas' coaches stressed. 

Braxton is looking forward to working with Bowman. 

“It will be good. He knows a lot about the game, and I’m just thankful to have an opportunity to work with him,” Braxton said.

Defensive line commitment Kaleb James took his turn meeting Arkansas coaches Sunday evening by hosting Pittman, defensive line coach Deke Adams, Odom and Kennedy for an in-home visit. 

“It went great,” James said. “I just enjoyed getting to introduce the coaches to my grandparents and girlfriend. Sometimes these on-campus visits can be a whirlwind and there are other people I would like to have with me, but that’s not always the case. This was just good because the coaches get to see a small piece of my every-day life and how I live and the people in my every-day life.” 

James, 6-4, 260, of Mansfield, Texas, recorded 82 tackles, 34 quarterback hurries, 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, 2 recovered fumbled and 1 forced fumble as a senior. 

Having the 1-on-1 time with coaches was rewarding. 

“This journey isn’t just about me,” said James, who served up Jersey Mike's subs for the visit. “It’s also about all the people that love and support me, and to get to share a little bit of all of this with them felt good.” 

He picked the Razorbacks over more than 20 other scholarship offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Utah, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, Arizona and other programs.

James, who plans to report to Fayetteville next summer, is excited about being tutored by Adams.

“Coach Adams is a guy I can’t wait to learn from. I feel he’s not just going to make me a good football player, but a good person,” James said. “Coach Adams has honestly been a bonus in my recruitment at Arkansas, and I can’t wait to be coached by him.”

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