FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas football team lost a key cog to its South Florida recruiting efforts when Charlie Partridge was named Florida Atlantic’s coach in December.
But the past two days show the Razorbacks have no intention of letting it slow their progress in the recruiting hotbed.
Arkansas added two more prospects from South Florida when Gulliver Prep cornerback Cornelius Floyd and Miami Norland wide receiver Kendrick Edwards made verbal commitments Monday. The two join Ft. Lauderdale Dillard High linebacker Randy Ramsey as South Florida high school players who have made verbal commitments to the Razorbacks this week.
“Great day in Razorback family,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema posted on his Twitter page on Monday afternoon. “Getting stronger one day at a time! #woopig.”
Scout.com rates Floyd and Norland as three-star prospects on a five-star scale. Floyd visited Arkansas two weeks ago, while Edwards’ official visit was last weekend.
Floyd, Edwards and Ramsey give Arkansas three verbal commitments from South Florida high school players for 2014. Another, tight end Ravian Pierce, announced last week he was no longer committed to the Razorbacks.
If the three sign with Arkansas next month, they’ll join a 2013 class that included four players from South Florida (running back Alex Collins, offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, safety De’Andre Coley and defensive tackle Ke’Tyrus Marks).
Arkansas made South Florida recruiting an emphasis when Bielema arrived in December 2012. Partridge played a big role in those efforts, but the Hogs continue to work the state because of Bielema and linebackers coach Randy Shannon.
Shannon, the former Miami player, assistant and head coach, is from South Florida and has played a big role in Arkansas’ recruiting in the state. Bielema also has long-standing ties as a recruiter from his days as an assistant coach.
“I’ve signed over 60 kids from those three counties and really don’t expect it to be much more than a blip on the radar,” Bielema said about Arkansas’ recruiting in South Florida after Partridge’s departure in December. “I think our tradition speaks for itself in the way we handle kids. Hopefully that will persevere over everything.”
Arkansas now has 22 players who have signed or made verbal commitments for its 2014 class. Dollarway quarterback/safety Joshua Liddell orally committed Saturday.
Verbal commitments are non-binding. National signing day is Feb. 5.