Arkansas adds Zach Williams to list of talented 2019 in-state targets

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss an offer for an in-state defensive end, the report card for the 2018 class and the preferred walk-on additions.

DE Zach Williams receives offer from Arkansas

Arkansas coach Chad Morris is continually making in-state recruits a top priority as the recruiting calendar shifts to focusing on the 2019 class.

The latest evidence is an offer extended to Joe T. Robinson (Little Rock, Ark.) defensive end Zach Williams on Sunday. He was on campus when he received the offer from Morris during the first of several prospect days the Hogs have planned in the coming months.

Arkansas has now offered six 2019 in-state recruits. The list also includes tight end Hudson Henry, offensive linemen Darius Thomas and Stacey Wilkins and wide receivers Jadon Jackson and Treylon Burks.

With Williams being added to the list of players with a Power 5 offer, the in-state group continues to become more impressive. Burks and Henry are among the top 50 overall recruits in the class. Thomas and Wilkins each have at least eight offers from Power 5 schools while Jackson has five such offers.

Williams’ potential makes him a warranted member among the top recruits in the state. He’s currently listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. He has a 4.57-second 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical and 82-inch wingspan. Those tools are why Arkansas views him as a must-get future defensive end. And though he’s not yet a polished player, he managed an impressive 68 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a junior last season.

He has good bloodlines as well. His father, Rickey, played linebacker for Arkansas (1984-87) and ranks  No. 8 on the school’s career tackles list.

Re-grading Arkansas’ DE signees

Arkansas added junior college defensive end Dorian Gerald to its 2018 class Friday evening. Following National Signing Day on Wednesday, SEC Country released its grades at each position for the Hogs’ class. Now that Gerald is included, let’s dive back into piece and re-grade the defense ends.

The ends initially received a B grade with three signees — Courtre Alexander, Nicholas Fulwider and Isaiah Nicholas. While all three have the potential to be valuable players, none are obviously immediate contributors.

Gerald, however, is quite different. He’s rated as a 4-star prospect and the top junior college defensive end in the class by ESPN. He is without a doubt the type of talent who not only can but also will be expected to make an immediate impact next season.

The initial grades released stated adding Gerald would take the defensive ends to a B-plus. But with more time to analyze his addition, let’s move that grade to an A-minus. The overall team grade should also bump to a B-plus. It can’t be understated how significant of an addition Gerald is to this group.

Arkansas adds several preferred walk-ons

The scholarship players weren’t the only additions to the Hogs’ 2018 class. Arkansas also added eight preferred walk-ons.

The list includes quarterback Austin Aune, who is already enrolled. Aune, 24, is making a return to football after signing with TCU in 2012 but never enrolling. He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the MLB draft that summer. He opted to sign for a $1 million bonus.

Here’s the full list of preferred walk-on additions:

  • QB Austin Aune, 6-2, 190, Argyle (Texas)
  • WR Peyton Ausley, 6-3, 175, Vandegrift (Austin, Texas)
  • P Reid Bauer, 5-11, 195, Magnolia (Texas)
  • RB Thomas Muldrow, 5-11, 185, Prescott (Ark.)
  • ATH Nathan Parodi, 5-9, 165, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
  • P/K Matthew Phillips, 5-11, 185, Brentwood (Tenn.)
  • P Chad Stephens, 6-0, 205, Dodge City (Kan.) C.C.
  • DB Cameron Vail, 6-1, 185, Bryant (Ark.)

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

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