Otis Kirk's Recruiting 360: Hogs Look to Stock Up on Offensive Side, Including Running Backs

by Otis Kirk, HawgSports.com Recruiting Analyst  on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 12:51 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Arkansas is busy preparing for Auburn and then the second half of its schedule for the 2010 season, but recruiting is still a hot topic at the Broyles Complex as the Razorbacks continue to try and stockpile offensive talent for the Class of 2011.

At quarterback, the Razorbacks picked up a verbal commitment early from Fayetteville's Brandon Allen (6-foot-2, 214 pounds, 4.7 in the 40-yard dash), and the son of Arkansas defensive line coach Bobby Allen has enjoyed a very good senior campaign. Allen played three quarters against Fort Smith Northside on Friday night and completed 20 of 28 passes for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns. Entering Friday night's contest, Allen had completed 77 of 120 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the first two games of the season, Allen only played the first half of each due to blowouts.

The Razorbacks plan to sign two or three running backs in this class. Jefferson City (Mo.) bruiser Kody Walker (6-2, 230, 4.7) chose Arkansas over Missouri just before the 2010 season. Walker was injured recently and the early diagnosis wasn't a positive one as far as returning this season. However, before he was injured, Walker broke the school rushing record and his injury should be fully healed by the time he gets to Arkansas.

Arkansas is now making a strong push for Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian tailback Andrew Buie (5-9, 188, 4.5). Buie has Auburn, Ole Miss, Louisville, South Carolina and Pittsburgh on his list along with the Razorbacks. Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Barry Every is very impressed with Buie.

“He has excellent hands out of the backfield ... so good he could play receiver,” Every said. “His speed will allow him to get to the corner and break long runs. Buie is pretty quck and dangerous in the open field.”

Arkansas is also one of the finalists for Edwardsville (Ill.) running back Rodney Coe (6-3, 230, 4.54). Coe is related to former Arkansas cornerback Michael Coe. This past week, Coe was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio, Texas. Coe, who is rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com, has Arkansas and Iowa on top of a list that also includes Kansas State, Illinois and Tennessee.

A couple of other running backs being eyed by the Razorbacks are Monticello (Fla.) Jefferson County's Devondrick Nealy (5-9, 175, 4.4) and Atlanta Grady's Marcus Caffey (6-0, 175, 4.45). Nealy is having a senior year that could help propel him to 4-star status as he continues to put up unbelievable numbers each Friday night. Arkansas is his leader followed by Auburn, Minnesota and Michigan. Caffey has Arkansas, South Carolina, Purdue and Kentucky on his list.

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Arkansas played host to Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith wide receiver Quinta Funderburke (6-5, 224, 4.5) for an official visit the weekend of the Alabama game. Funderburke has 24 scholarship offers and took an official visit to Florida this past weekend for the Gators' game against LSU. He also has trips to Michigan this coming weekend and West Virginia the Nov. 12-13 weekend, but the Razorbacks are the team to beat.

"It was a good game," Funderburk said of Arkansas and the Crimson Tide. "I was really into it and I thought Arkansas was going to win. I really like how they spread the ball around all their receivers get touches. It was a big-time atmosphere and Arkansas is No. 1."

Arkansas is also in the hunt for Fort Worth (Texas) Arlington Heights wide receiver Marquis Jackson (6-0, 205, 4.4). Arkansas, Minnesota, Baylor and Nebraska are the schools at the top of the pack right now. Jackson has impressed the schools with not just his natural talent, but how hard he works.

"My work ethic and how I always want to be perfect in what I do are my strengths," Jackson said.
Arkansas has three wide receivers committed as well as a pair of athletes who could end up at receiver or on defense. The pure receivers committed are Forrest City's Davyon McKinney (6-3, 185, 4.5), East St. Louis (Ill.) speedster Keante Minor (6-0, 194, 4.4) and New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy's Marquel Wade(5-11, 180, 4.45).



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