Recruiting Guy

State coaches heap praise on Marion’s Curne

Class of 2025 defensive lineman Carius Curne
Class of 2025 defensive lineman Carius Curne

University of Arkansas offensive and defensive line commitment Carius Curne, a 4-star prospect, has the feet and mobility along with size and strength that college coaches crave.

Curne, 6-5 and 300 pounds, of Marion, chose the Hogs on Wednesday over scholarship offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Missouri, LSU, Louisville, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State and other programs. The Hogs are recruiting Curne to play on either side of the ball.

Opposing coaches has seen enough of Curne to know he's a different prospect.

Searcy Coach Zak Clark has been coaching for 16 years and said he hasn't seen anything like Curne in the state during that span.

"He's long, so athletic," Clark said. "I think he's a stud. He's good get for Arkansas. I think he's going to be dominate. He's as good of an offensive lineman that I've seen since I've been coaching."

Curne had graded at 86% with 13 knockdowns on offense and had 4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss in 26 snaps on defense after the first four games of last season going into the contest against Benton.

Benton Coach Brad Davis said he has seen enough of Curne the past two seasons to know he's a difference-maker.

"He is big athletic guy that can play offensive line or defensive line, didn't play as much defensive line against us but you can tell he is very athletic and can move," Harris said. "As an O-lineman, if he got his hands on our defensive line guys, they were in trouble. He was really physical and he would stay attached until the whistle blew."

While he's rated a 4-star prospect by three of the four major recruiting services, his film shows an athlete worthy of 5-star consideration before he leaves Marion. An argument could be made that he's the best in-state line prospect since former Razorback All American and NFL All-Pro offensive lineman Shawn Andrews.

Former Hog great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Hampton said he was impressed after watching Curne's film.

"Super feet. Looks like a college player," Hampton said. "Puts folks on the ground. A keeper."

CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming rates Curne as a 4-star plus prospect after visiting with him in December.

"I was [impressed] with his size and overall athletic ability, when I visited his school," said Lemming, who started covering national recruiting in 1978. "Long arms, very agile and quick. Moves like a defensive lineman, great first step, and athletic enough to go out on the second level and hit moving targets. He has very impressive film."

Pulaski Academy Coach and former Razorback receiver Anthony Lucas also heaped praise on Curne.

"He's very athletic, physical and strong," Lucas said. "He's a really good player. He gave us trouble upfront. He will develop into a good football player as he progresses."

Sylvan Hills Coach Jason Houle said Curne is what college coaches like to see in linemen.

"Big, physical and athletic," Houle said. "Physically one of the best looking kids in the state."

Kicker commits

University of Arkansas special teams coordinator Scott Fountain has added another kicker to compete to replace career field-goal percentage record holder Cam Little.

Little declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 1 after after making 53 of 64 field-goal attempts in three seasons. The 82.8% rate is an Arkansas record.

Charlie von der Meden, 6-0 and 165 pounds, of Tomball, Texas, made public his commitment to the Hogs on Tuesday. He will join the Razorbacks as a preferred walk-on for the first semester of summer school.

He visited Fayetteville on Jan. 27 and was ultimately won over by Fountain and the environment at Arkansas.

"When I was up for my visit I could tell the players were being taken care of on and off the field," von der Meden said. "My goal in recruiting was to play for a school with a rich tradition and history of football. Arkansas gives me that plus more. Coach Fountain has a history of producing NFL kickers and I can't wait to get on campus in May and compete."

Kohl's Kicking rates von der Meden as a 5-star prospect and the No. 12 kicker in the nation for the 2024 class. He picked the Razorbacks over a scholarship offer from Air Force and other preferred walk-on opportunities from Missouri and Kentucky.

Von der Meden made 4 of 6 field goals as a senior while having a long of 47 yards. He made 34 of 35 extra points. He had 32 touchbacks on 44 kickoffs and also punted 13 times for a 37.2-yard average with along of 62 yards.

He said his decision came down to two schools.

"Ultimately the other school I was considering was Kentucky," von der Meden said.

The Hogs signed Hawaii transfer kicker Matthew Shipley in December. On3.com rates Shipley as the No. 5 kicker in the NCAA transfer portal.

Email Richard Davenport at [email protected]