Arkansas recruiting 2014: Small class still boasts talent for Razorbacks

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Jermaine Eluemunor and Bijhon Jackson headline a 2014 class that could blossom down the road.

Barely into their first season with Bret Bielema at the helm, the Arkansas Razorbacks are a top-25 recruiting program. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Arkansas ranks 24th among FBS programs with 16 commits for the 2014 class.

That number, though, pales in comparison to the heavyweight SEC programs elsewhere in the conference. The Hogs rank 10th in the SEC, ahead of only Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Missouri. Of those 16 commits, just four are four-stars, tied for the fourth-fewest in the conference.

Among Arkansas' most recent visits -- 247 reports four watched the 24-3 win over Southern Mississippi on Saturday -- was four-star defensive tackle Craig Evans. The Sun Prairie, Wis. native has been a soft commit to Wisconsin since April 15. Yet, with Bielema jumping ship to Arkansas, his recruitment of Evans never ceased.

Top Hogs

The Hogs' two most recent commits are a pair of three-stars who both committed Aug. 9. Defensive tackle Armon Watts (St. Louis, Mo.) is a 6'4, 260-pound prospect from Christian Brothers College who ranks as the nation's No. 49 player at his position, per 247's composite rankings. He's also the No. 11 player coming out of Missouri, recording 57 tackles (five for loss), four sacks and one fumble recovery as a junior.

The other Aug. 9 commit is wide receiver Jared Cornelius, a 6'0, 175-pound prospect from Shreveport, La. 247's composite rankings peg Cornelius as the No. 108 receiver in the 2014 class, as well as the 45th-ranked player coming out of Louisiana. Cornelius caught 87 passes for 1,587 yards and 18 touchdowns in a productive junior season.

The crown jewels of the class, however, are a pair of four-star recruits who committed seven months apart. First, back in late December, was defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson (El Dorado, Ark.), the No. 7 player at his position in 247's composite rankings and the top Arkansas prospect in the 2014 class. Jackson recorded 67 tackles (12 for loss) six sacks and one forced fumble as a junior, and he chose Arkansas over at least three other offers from the likes of Alabama, Arkansas State and Ole Miss.

The other -- and "other" is just purely additional -- prime commit of the class is offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (Scranton, Pa.). The third-ranked tackle by 247 in the 2014 class and No. 1 player out of Pennsylvania, Eluemunor is actually ranked a shade higher than Jackson on 247's point scale, 97-96. Eluemunor committed to Arkansas on July 26, passing over more than a dozen other offers from schools like Ohio State, UCLA, Alabama, Florida State, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

On target

Arkansas looks quite good for these two prospects: Josh Frazier, of Springdale (AR) Har-Ber High School, is an excellent defensive tackle for whom Arkansas seems to hold the lead for over Alabama and Texas A&M. Frazier has the rare size and adequate quickness to be a true two-gapper at an early stage in his college career.

Ravian Pierce, of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Plantation High School, is a solid tight end recruit, who is also quite good at defensive end. Arkansas seems to hold the lead for Pierce.

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