National Signing Day: Arkansas Tech, state colleges load up on in-state talent

National Signing Day: Arkansas Tech, state colleges load up on in-state talent

Share this article

ARKANSAS TECH finished with a 5-6 record last season, tying for sixth-place in the Great American Conference. But second-year coach Raymond Monica signed some of the top high school players from the state Wednesday, highlighted by Bentonville receiver Jimmie Jackson (6-2, 215).

Jackson, regarded among coaches as the top receiver in the 7A West, caught 35 passes for 761 yards (21.7 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns a year ago, leading Bentonville to its first state title since 2010. Jackson helped Bentonville post a 35-4 record in his career and played in three consecutive state title games.


 ATU signee Alex Burris
The Wonder Boys signed Alma linebacker Alex Burris (5-10, 200), a finalist for the Farm Bureau Awards Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year. The three-time all-state performer racked up almost 400 career tackles and forced 11 turnovers.

Pottsville's Michael Perry (5-11, 175) signed with Arkansas Tech. Perry, a finalist for the Farm Bureau Awards Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year, was a four-year starter at quarterback and three-year starter at safety. The two-time all-state honoree accounted for more than 10,000 career yards offense, collected more than 200 tackles and swiped 12 interceptions.

Arkansas Tech also landed Jonesboro's D.J. Anderson (5-9, 190), who started at QB as a junior (2,389 yards, 22 TDs) before playing receiver in 2013. The Mayflower duo of Trey Bradley (6-3, 275) and Madison Chambliss (6-2, 208) signed with Arkansas Tech. Chambliss caught 54 passes for 931 yards and 19 TDs a year ago. Other future Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys include North Little Rock center Daniel Barnes (6-3, 271), Russellville receiver Jalen Curtis (5-9, 190), Benton receiver J.V. Davis (6-0, 150), Rogers Heritage QB Josh Qualls (6-1, 170) and Pulaski Robinson linebacker Kody Williams (6-3, 225). Curtis recorded more than 1,000 yards and nine TDs last year, while Davis had more than 1,300 yards and 15 TDs.

HENDERSON STATE has captured consecutive Great American Conference titles and signed seven players from the state. Dierks' Curtis Sebren (5-9, 165) signed with the Reddies after making a 52-yard field goal last season, the ninth-longest field goal in state history. Hot Springs Lakeside QB Garrett Carson (6-2, 215) drew interest from Division I school last spring. He passed for more than 4,200 yards and 46 TDs the past two years. Henderson State successfully recruited the 7A West, snatching Springdale Har-Ber offensive tackle Chad Birkes (6-2, 236) and Fayetteville linebacker Terrell Tyson (6-0, 200). Tyson made more than 200 career tackles, helping Fayetteville win state titles in 2011-2012. The Reddies signed Jacksonville offensive tackle Corey Harrison (6-3, 338) and defensive end Titus O'Neal (6-3, 220). Harrison decommitted from FCS (Division I-AA) Missouri State last week. Nashville defensive lineman L.T. Muldrow (6-2, 200) signed with Henderson State after making 76 tackles in 2013. Gurdon defensive tackle Devante Charles (6-2, 300) signed with Henderson State after helping the Go-Devils win 29 games the past three seasons. Charles was selected as the 7-2A Lineman of the Year after racking up 80 tackles and five sacks in 2013.

Across Highway 7 from Henderson State, the OUACHITA BAPTIST Tigers signed eight players from the state, including three home-town Arkadelphia Badgers: QB Jakahari Howell (6-0, 180), running back Kris Oliver (5-10, 160) and linebacker Jahlon Mitchell (6-0, 185). Howell generated more than 3,000 yards last season, passing for more than 2,500 yards and 30 scores, while Oliver ran for almost 1,500 yards and 22 scores. Mitchell paced the Badgers with more than 100 tackles. Nashville offensive tackle Cameron Alexander (6-3, 285) and Hope defensive end Davon Potts (6-3, 230) were reaped from the Tigers' southwest Arkansas recruiting efforts. They also signed Conway defensive end Cortez Atkins (6-2, 245), cornerback A.J. Burton (5-10, 167) and Little Rock Central cornerback Nick Hayes (5-11, 150).

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS usually focuses on players from the southern half of the state, but SAU successfully trekked into central Arkansas this winter, plucking Malvern safety Kaylen Burks (6-0, 180), North Little Rock receiver A.J. Louden (6-1, 172), Conway receiver Sidney Moore (5-11, 168), Fountain Lake defensive end Cole Murray (6-1, 220) and Jacksonville defensive end Brandon Toombs (6-5, 230). Burks led Malvern with more than 100 tackles and nine interceptions last year, while Murray becomes Fountain Lake's first college signee in six seasons. The Muleriders signed Searcy teammates Desmond Gavin (6-4, 205) and Karonce Higgins (6-2, 175). Gavin plays on the defensive line, while Higgins plays receiver. They also signed Hope safety Jonathon Palmer (6-0, 180) and El Dorado cornerback Jactavis Williams (6-0, 175).

Harding signee Bo Weddle 
Cabot twins Heath Pledger (6-0, 280) and Keith Pledger (6-0, 270) headline the 2014 recruiting class at HARDING UNIVERSITY. The twins helped Cabot claim a conference title last season and finsh as state runner-up. Carlisle running back/linebacker Bo Weedle (5-11, 190), the Farm Bureau Awards Class 2A Defensive Player of the Year, and Central Arkansas Christian receiver Jack Partlow (5-11, 192) also signed with the Bison.

Conway defensive back Malik Clemons (6-2, 181) and Bryant safety Jake Johnson (5-9, 160) signed with the UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-MONTICELLO. Division III member HENDRIX played football for the first time in more than 40 years last season. They signed Jacksonville running back Daniel Curley (5-9, 180) and Conway cornerback Anthony Tufu (5-9, 147), although more players are expected to sign throughout the spring.

Camden Fairview receiver Deion Holliman (5-9, 165) signed with Division I-AA Missouri State. Holliman, a finalist for Farm Bureau Awards Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year, caught 48 passes for 1,037 yards and 11 TDs this fall, and he rushed for 343 yards and seven scores. Holliman played on teams that won three straight conference titles and the 2012 state championship. Little Rock Central defensive tackle Daryl Coburn (6-1, 325) and Rogers Heritage defensive end Colby Isbell (6-2, 240) signed with Missouri State, while Rogers defense tackle Zane Bush (6-2, 270) signed with Northwestern (La.) State.

Additional Arkansas players signed with Division II, Division II and NAIA out-of-state schools.

RB Juan Day (6-2, 210) North LR
DE Jake Hall (6-5, 230) Springdale Har-Ber
DL Bijhon Jackson (6-2, 325) El Dorado
TE Jack Kraus (6-5, 240) Bentonville
ATH Josh Liddell (6-1, 198) Dollarway

OL Jhamahl Bell (6-4, 295) Warren
DL Jarrod Chandler (6-2, 220) Barton
WR Blake Mack (6-3, 193) Lonoke
DT Chuks Ota (6-2, 285) Jonesboro

QB Toney Hawkins (6-1, 185) Morrilton
OT Will Jones (6-4, 300) Parkers Chapel
OG Curtis Parker (6-2, 280) North LR
DE Dalvin Simmons (6-2, 220) LR Central
TE Josiah Wymer (6-4, 262) Springdale

CB Kavin Alexander (5-10, 190) North LR

DL Josh Frazier 6-3, 330 Springdale Har-Ber

QB Isaac Jackson (6-2, 210) FS Southside
OT Jake Snyder (6-3, 270) Wynne

DL/LB Jarvis Cooper (6-2, 245) West Memphis

K Austin McGehee (6-0, 200) Pine Bluff

QB Jabe Burgess (6-3, 200) Greenwood
ATH Jordan Dennis (6-1, 175) Fayetteville
OT Isaac Johnson (6-6, 275) Springdale Har-Ber
LB Tim Quickel (6-2, 225) North LR

LB Zack Wary (6-4, 220) Rogers


DB Malik Clemons (6-2, 181) Conway
S Jake Johnson (5-9, 160) Bryant
DL Ryan Tassin (6-7, 310) Monticello
CB Keyondre Jones (6-1, 185) Camden Fairview
OL Dillon Cagle (6-8, 315) Hoxie
OL Derrick Johnson (6-3, 290) transfer from A-State

ATH D.J. Anderson (5-9, 190) Jonesboro

C Daniel Barnes (6-3, 271) North LR
OT Trey Bradley (6-3, 275) Mayflower
LB Alex Burris (5-10, 200) Alma
WR Madison Chambliss (6-2, 208) Mayflower
WR Jalen Curtis (5-9, 190) Russellville
WR J.V. Davis (6-0, 150) Benton
WR Jimmie Jackson (6-2, 215) Bentonville
ATH Michael Perry (5-11, 175) Pottsville
QB Josh Qualls (6-1, 170) Rogers Heritage
LB Kody Williams (6-3, 225) Pulaski Robinson

WR Jack Partlow (5-11, 192) CAC
OG Heath Pledger (6-0, 280) Cabot
TE Keith Pledger (6-0, 270) Cabot
RB/LB Bo Weddle (5-11, 190) Carlisle
OL Bryce Bray (6-1, 270) Rogers
RB Brandon Gates (5-10, 205) Heritage

OT Chad Birkes (6-2, 236) Springdale Har-Ber
QB Garrett Carson (6-2, 220) HS Lakeside
OT Corey Harrison (6-3, 338) Jacksonville
DL L.T. Muldrew (6-2, 200) Nashville
DE Titus O'Neal (6-3, 220) Jacksonville
K Curtis Sebren (5-9, 165) Dierks
RB/LB Terrell Tyson (6-1, 185) Fayetteville
DL Devante Charles (6-3, 300) Gurdon
LB Chris Riley (5-10, 210) North LR

DE Cortez Atkins (6-2, 245) Conway
OL Cameron Alexander (6-3, 285) Nashville
CB A.J. Burton (5-10, 167) Conway
DB Nick Hayes (5-11, 150) LR Central
QB Jakahari Howell (6-0, 180) Arkadelphia
LB Jahlon Mitchell (6-0, 185) Arkadelphia
RB Kris Oliver (5-10, 160) Arkadelphia
DE Davon Potts (6-3, 230) Hope

WR/DB Kaylen Burks (6-0, 180) Malvern
DE Kendrix McCann (6-0, 235) Texarkana, AR
DL Desmond Gavin (6-4, 205) Searcy
WR Karonce Higgins (6-2, 175) Searcy
WR A.J. Louden (6-1, 172) North LR
WR Sidney Moore (5-11, 168) Conway
DE Cole Murray (6-1, 220) Fountain Lake
S Jonathon Palmer (6-0, 180) Hope
DE Brandon Toombs (6-5, 230) Jacksonville
CB Jactavis Williams (6-0, 175) El Dorado

LB Josh Stroud (6-2, 200) Fordyce

(Lyon College won't play football until 2015, but the NAIA Scots already signed part of their first recruiting class. Coach Kirk Kelley plans to redshirt players next season.)
OL/DT  Jon Alexander (5-10, 240) Vilonia
LT/DE  Cody Boyd (6-4, 250) Paragould

K  Sam Burchfield (6-0, 180) Greenbrier
TE/DL  Garrett Denton (6-3, 255) Batesville
OT/DT  Cody Eveld (6-3, 260) Subiaco Academy
DB  Evan Forte (6-2, 170) Mills
OG/DT  Jake Fox (6-2, 270) Pocahontas
OL/DE  Levi Hall (6-3, 245) Harrison
OG/NG  Zach Hill (5-5, 257) Paragould
OG/NG  Nate Hills (6-3, 265) Heber Springs
WR  Deion Johns (6-1, 205) Bald Knob
QB  Cody Jones (5-11, 200) Russellville
DT  Zach Lillard (6-1, 255) Batesville
WR  Shawn Lusk (6-0, 180) Hector
DE  Nathan Max (6-0, 220) Vilonia
QB/DB  Brody McCrary (5-10, 160) Marked Tree
WR  Eric McGowan (5-9, 155) WR Hector
WR/CB  Cody O'Dell (6-0, 170) Highland
C/DT  Chris Poole (6-2, 280) Hector
OG  Jeff Proctor (6-1, 285) Hector
FB/NG  Cody Robinson (5-7, 190) Gravette
QB/RB/DB  Kody Smith (6-0, 205) Lonoke
OL/DL  Micah Talley (5-10, 230) Cedar Ridge
OT  James Trotter (6-3, 290) Batesville
WR/DB  Kyle Wilson (5-8, 170) Hoxie


Share this article

Have your say

Feel free to take part in the discussion! Please be nice and do not include any abusive comments or spam. All comments are moderated and reserves the right to delete any comment.