Arkansas Football: Top targets for the Hogs

The Arkansas Razorbacks had a dreadful 2013 football season, but some good news in recruiting may be coming soon for the Hogs.

While the current class is ranked in the low 30s by most of the major recruiting sites, there are plenty of opportunities to boost their rating with some of the nation’s top recruits still considering Arkansas.

More importantly, the Hogs have to bulk up on the defensive side of the ball or they will never be able to compete in the SEC. Here are some recruits that the Razorbacks have a chance at signing, and who would be major commits for the Hogs.

Solomon Thomas- DE Coppell, TX- Thomas announced his final three schools last week which were Arkansas, UCLA, and

5-star defensive end Solomon Thomas

5-star defensive end Solomon Thomas

Stanford, eliminating Ohio State and Texas. Thomas would be a tremendous get for the Hogs who lost DE Chris Smith to the NFL, and DE Trey Flowers after this season.

The 6’3”, 260-pound five-star recruit is ranked as the number two strong side defensive end nationally and the number three player in the state of Texas by 247Sports. Thomas will make his official visit to Fayetteville this weekend which could be a major advantage to the Hogs since he has also visited the other two finalists.

Another advantage for the Razorbacks is that Thomas’ sister is a junior at the University of Arkansas. Thomas should see immediate playing time at Arkansas, and could be a tremendous, impact player for Bret Bielema’s defense.

Kenny Young- LB New Orleans, LA- Arkansas’ main position of need is at the linebacker spot. While freshman MLB Brooks Ellis began to emerge as a playmaker towards the end of the season, the Hogs are generally slow and undersized at the position.

Young could be a key acquisition for the Razorbacks, and he flew into Fayetteville yesterday for his official visit.

LB Kenny Young

LB Kenny Young

The 6’2”, 225-pound inside linebacker, would also more than likely see heavy playing time in his first year, if he decides to commit

to the Hogs. While Young is on campus at the moment, the four-star recruit is also seriously considering UCLA and Texas A&M.

The Hogs are coming in late on Young so it may be a steal for the Razorbacks if he does decide to come to Arkansas, but a huge steal it would be.

Sharieff Rhaheed- LB Fort Pierce, FL- Another linebacker for the Hogs could come in the way of Rhaheed out of Florida.

The 6’4”, 215-pound inside linebacker seems to be a good fit for the Hogs who are in need of as many linebackers as they can get. Rhaheed was almost certainly going to end up at Louisville, but when Charlie Strong took the job at Texas, the doors opened up for the Razorbacks.

Now there seems to be a decent chance that the Razorbacks could get a commitment on national signing day from the linebacker, who would provide an immediate help for the defense.

It’s obvious that the defensive side of the ball is where this Arkansas football program really needs to finish out strong for this year’s recruiting class.

Bret Bielema has yet to announce a new defensive coordinator after Chris Ash departed for the co-defensive coordinator job at Ohio State, so we will have to continue to watch how this and the new hire affects recruits.