Otis Kirk: Razorbacks Get 2013 Commitment As Recruiting Marches On

by Otis Kirk, Hawgs247.com  on Thursday, Apr. 26, 2012 9:31 am  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Arkansas picked up its first commitment for the Class of 2013 on Wednesday when Denham Springs (La.) running back Kaleb Blanchard committed to the Razorbacks.

Blanchard (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), chose the Razorbacks despite not knowing for sure who will be his head coach when he gets to Fayetteville.

“I chose Arkansas because of the people,” Blanchard said. “It just felt right with all the things they have going for them. I know if I go to Arkansas I will be happy every minute of my life. They will get a good coach.”

Blanchard is rated a 3-star recruit by 247Sports. He was recruited by Arkansas assistants Tim Horton and Steve Caldwell. He talked to both coaches Wednesday.

“I love how Coach Horton takes care of his players,” Blanchard said. “They have had Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis who are all in the NFL now.

“Coach Horton called me at the school. I called back and got Coach Caldwell. He told me they were ready for me to be a Razorback and I said 'Yes sir, I'm ready to be a Hog.' I'm just excited and I'm ready to roll.”

Blanchard chose Arkansas over offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette. He was limited by a shoulder injury and hamstring issue to 68 carries for 395 yards and 6 touchdowns as a junior. As a sophomore, Blanchard burst onto the scene by carrying 190 times for 1,799 yards and 21 touchdowns.

“I had surgery and my shoulder is fine,” Blanchard said. “I'm completely healthy now.”

No Letup

Horton, who doubles as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, has been at Arkansas since the 1997 season.

He was Houston Nutt's running backs coach that season and then Nutt left for Ole Miss. Reggie Herring was the interim coach for Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Bobby Petrino was hired and Horton added recruiting coordinator duties to his work title.

Petrino was fired April 10 and Tuesday the Razorbacks hired John L. Smith to be the interim coach for the 2012 season. Horton is now in charge of Arkansas' recruiting efforts though no one knows who will be the head coach in 2013.



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