Photo Credits: David Okwera’s Twitter Profile
Arkansas signed a top-10 class according to every single recruiting rankings service. On the heels of that talented in-state group will be even better recruiting classes, particularly in 2022.
The Razorbacks remain firmly in position to land any number of their top targets for the 2021 class. The staff has hosted or held virtual meetings with many of their offers for the class, including several five-star prospects, but the dynamic with some of the recruits might have changed recently.
Coach Crutchfield took the head coach’s position at East Central University, a division two program in Oklahoma. He was the lead recruiter for the coveted Team Griffin prospects, who remain high on the Razorbacks’ priority list. Jaxson Robinson showed a great deal of reciprocal interest, visiting campus and coming to home games multiple times, but ultimately reclassified to the 2020 class and signed with Texas A&M. The other two Team Griffin prospects remain in the class of 2021: Daimion Collins and Trey Alexander.
Despite Coach Crutchfield leaving, the Razorbacks are still in contention for the two prospects. Musselman hired Coach David Patrick to replace Coach Crutchfield. Patrick was a head coach at UC-Riverside, where he led the Highlanders to just their second winning season in program history.
Coach Patrick was on staff at LSU with Coach Musselman, and was an essential factor in the Tigers signing Ben Simmons. Being from Australia, he also opens the international recruiting waters for Musselman and company, offering David Okwera soon after accepting the Arkansas associate head coaching position.
The crown-jewel of remaining prospects in the 2021 class, though, is five-star forward Harrison Ingram. Despite analysts predictions, Arkansas is still very much in play and potentially the frontrunner.
Other names that the staff are still pursuing in the 2021 class are Michael Foster, Alex Fudge, and Carter Whitt. Foster is a five-star, while Fudge and Whitt are both four-stars.
Musselman and staff offered over twenty scholarships to players in the 2021 class, but might hold off on signing more than a couple. It is likely the staff would fill the roster with transfers after two or three freshman signees to be sure there is enough space to sign plenty of the talented 2022 class.
The 2022 class is loaded with in-state talent again, but also has a ton of elite talent nationally. In-state prospects Joseph Pinion, Derrian Ford, Nick Smith, Kelel Ware, and Javion Guy-King have all received offers from the University of Arkansas. Pinion is a top-100 prospect currently, and Smith and Ford are both top-50 prospects in the class, according to Rivals. Ware is in the top-125, while Guy-King is unranked.
The Razorback coaching staff is not limiting themselves to the in-state talent in 2022, though. The offer list spans coast-to-coast and as far away as Australia after offering Dyson Daniels. Because of how loaded the class is, the coaching staff has already given out nearly thirty scholarship offers. Some names to keep an eye on moving forward in the 2022 class: Jayden Epps, Colin Smith, Caleb Houstan, Jarace Walker, and Ramel Lloyd.
It should not be understated that the 2021 class will continue the new normal Coach Musselman has established for Razorback recruiting. The class ranking might not reflect that if they only sign a couple players, but 2021 likely will have Musselman’s first five-star recruit at Arkansas, and 2022 has the chance to be the best class in program history.