Razorbacks Wrap Up Chad Morris’ First Signing Class
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Chad Morris has been the Arkansas football coach for less than two months but he and his new staff wrapped up their first recruiting class today.
National Signing Day 2018 started early for Arkansas as junior college running back Rakeem Boyd was the first to send in his national letter of intent then the gates opened for the rest of the new batch of Razorbacks. Boyd ran for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games at Independence Community College in 2017.
Before 8 a.m., Arkansas has received NLIs from four players, including Highland Park (Texas) quarterback John Stephen Jones, the grandson of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones threw for 57 touchdowns and just three interceptions while leading the Scots to the 5A Division I state championship.
Myles Mason, a defensive from Trussville, Ala., and Courtre’ Alexander, a defensive lineman from Owasso, Okla., both joined the class early on Wednesday morning.
Arkansas signed eight players during the early signing period in December, including Greenwood’s Connor Noland and Springdale’s Isaiah Nichols. You can read the full report on those eight players here.
This will report will be updated as more signees become official.
Player bios provided Arkansas Sports Information
6-0 | 200
Independence (Kan.) CC/Stratford HS | Houston, Texas
No. 3 JUCO running back nationally, according to 247Sports … Out of high school, was a four-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals, ESPN top 300 recruit, consensus top-25 running back with a best of No. 8 by Rivals … Rushed for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games at Independence in 2017, posting 6.3 yards per carry … Averaged 121.1 yards rushing per game … Topped 100-plus yards on the ground in five games, highlighted by a 215-yard performance at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and a 303-yard effort against Coffeyville Community College … In the regular-season finale on Nov. 11, rushed for 303 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries … In the Midwest Classic Bowl on Dec. 3, had 215 yards and three scores on 35 carries and was named offensive MVP of the game … Logged a rushing touchdown in six games and multiple touchdowns in four games … Posted a season-high four rushing touchdowns against Ellsworth Community College … Rushed for 6,436 yards and 80 touchdowns in his high school career … Helped Stratford reach the 2013 state semifinals in 2013 and the regional quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015 … Named the District 19-5A Overall MVP as a senior in 2015 … Was the District 19-5A Co-MVP as a junior and ran for 2,519 yards and 29 touchdowns on 246 carries, averaging over 10 yards per carry in 2014 … Earned First Team All-State honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association … Earned first-team all-district honors and Associated Press All-State Honorable Mention honors as a sophomore in 2013 … Rushed for 1,621 yards and 19 scores … Saw time on varsity as a freshman in 2012 … Coached by Eliot Allen at Stratford High School … Spent his freshman season at Texas A&M before transferring to Independence … Out of high school chose Texas A&M over Arizona State, Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska … Chose Arkansas over offers from Arizona State and Colorado.
John Stephen Jones
5-11 | 185
Dallas, Texas | Highland Park HS
Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports and ESPN … Ranked the No. 42 pro-style quarterback in the class and the No. 154 overall recruit from the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports … Completed 505 of 777 passes for 7,965 yards, 90 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and ran 265 times for 674 yards and 19 touchdowns during his career at Highland Park … As a senior, led Highland Park to a second straight state title in December … Finished the season with 5,200 total yards and 71 touchdowns, and was voted District 15-5A MVP, all-state honorable mention and won the 2017 Landry Award … Finished with 564 yards and four touchdowns on 37-of-58 passing in the 53-49 win over Manvel at AT&T Stadium, becoming the first player to throw for more than 500 yards in a University Interscholastic League championship game and setting title-game records for completions and attempts … Led his team on a nine-play drive that included a fourth-and-15 conversion and concluded with a go-ahead touchdown pass, his 61st of the season, to with 34 seconds remaining … Named the Offensive MVP of the state championship game, the Dallas Morning News SportsDay Area Offensive Player of the Year and the Built Ford Tough Class 5A Player of the Year in Texas … Is the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was a co-captain on Arkansas’ 1964 national title team … His father, Stephen Jones, also played for the Razorbacks and is the Cowboys vice president … Coached by Randy Allen at Highland Park … Chose Arkansas over Texas Tech, SMU and others.
6-2 | 205
Trussville, Ala. | Hewitt-Trussville HS
Four-star recruit by ESPN … Top-15 prospect in Alabama by ESPN (No. 10), 247Sports (No. 13) and Rivals (No. 16) … No. 21 ranked safety in the class by ESPN and No. 29 by 247Sports … No. 431 ranked player in the nation by 247Sports Composite … Helped Hewitt-Trussville to an 11-0 overall record and 7-0 mark in region play as a senior in 2017 … Tallied 41 tackles, two pass breakups on defense and five touchdowns on offense, while missing four games due to injury … Rushed 30 times for 277 yards and five touchdowns … Had a rushing TD in four games, including a two-score effort in a 49-7 season-opening win against Grissom … Turned in five stops, including 2.0 for loss, in a 45-13 win against James Clemens … Logged a season-high 13 solo tackles in a 45-35 win against Florence … Coached by Josh Floyd … Played his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons at Pleasant Grove before transferring to Hewitt-Trussville … Played running back, receiver and defensive back for the majority of his career at Pleasant Grove … Had 84 tackles on defense as a junior … Helped lead the Spartans to a state championship runner-up spot en route to second-team all-state honors as a freshman in 2014 … Chose Arkansas over Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida State and others … His father, Larry, played at Southern Miss and Troy, and professionally in USFL (Jacksonville Bulls), Canadian Football League (Calgary Stampeders) and NFL (Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers) in the 1980s and early 1990s.
6-5 | 260
Owasso, Okla. | Owasso HS
Consensus three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … Ranked as the nation’s No. 48 player, No. 44 weak-side defensive end and the No. 13 player in Oklahoma, per the 247Sports Composite … Considered the No. 11 player in the state and No. 58 defensive end in the class according to ESPN … No. 21 prospect in The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings … Named to the 2017 All-World first team … Also earned all-district honors from the Tulsa World … Helped lead Owasso to Oklahoma’s Class 6A-I state title with 53 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a senior … The Rams became the first team since 1995 other than Jenks or Tulsa Union to win the championship in Oklahoma’s largest classification … In the 21-14 win over Union in the championship game, had an important fourth-and-1 stop that turned the ball over on downs and had a red-zone tackle for loss that preceded a missed field goal … Had a key interception and a sack in a 21-0 win over Jenks in the semifinals, and scored on a 35-yard fumble return against Westmoore in the quarterfinals … Had 60 tackles as a junior … Also played basketball at Owasso … Coached by Bill Blankenship … Chose Arkansas over Texas and others.
6-6 | 286
Memphis, Tenn. | Christian Brothers HS
A three-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite … No. 32 ranked player in the state of Tennessee and the No. 96 offensive tackle in the class by 247Sports … Named a first-team all-state selection in Division II-AAA and a first-team Commercial Appeal all-metro pick as a senior … Helped Christian Brothers to a 12-1 record … Part of an offensive line that paved the way for 2,417 rushing yards, including one 1,000-yard rusher, and 34 rushing touchdowns … Cleared paths for the Purple wave to top the 200-yard rushing mark six times, highlighted by three 300-plus yard games … Blocked for a rushing attack that averaged 6.2 yards per carry … Provided time for his quarterbacks to throw for 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns … As a junior, started every game in his first season with Christian Brothers and made first-team all-region and all-conference … Played at Bearden High School in Knoxville at the varsity level during his freshman and sophomore seasons … Earned first-team honorable mention honors as a sophomore … Played in six games as a freshman … Chose Arkansas over Mississippi State, Tennessee, Nebraska, Northwestern, Virginia, UCF and others.
6-7 | 300
Jonesboro, Ark. | Jonesboro HS
Consensus three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … Rated the No. 793 overall player in the nation, the No. 62 offensive tackle in the class and the No. 8 prospect in Arkansas per the 247Sports Composite … Considered the No. 75 offensive tackle and the No. 8 player in Arkansas by ESPN … A three-year varsity starter … Part of an offensive line that helped Jonesboro average 44.2 points per game over the last two seasons … As a senior, graded at 88 percent and had 11 pancake blocks … Helped pave the way for the Hurricane to total 2,395 yards rushing and average 6.8 yards per carry … Provided time for his quarterbacks to throw for 2,711 yards and 31 touchdowns … As a junior, blocked for 2,189 yards rushing and 29 TDs on the ground … Part of an offensive line that cleared paths for Jonesboro to average 6.5 yards per carry … Also provided time for his quarterbacks to total 3,418 yards and 46 TDs through the air … Coached by Randy Coleman … Chose Arkansas over Mississippi State, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Virginia, Iowa State, Indiana and others.
6-2 | 225
New Orleans, La. | Sophie B. Wright HS
Consensus three-star prospect by 247Sports and ESPN … Ranked as the No. 33 inside linebacker, and the No. 34 player in Louisiana, according to 247Sports … Rated the No. 60 player in the state and the No. 49 inside linebacker in the country by ESPN … Played on both sides of the ball … Lined up at both inside and outside linebacker as a senior in 2017 … Named to Louisiana Sportsline’s 9-3A All-District Team … Credited with 107 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one recovered fumble while rushing for 275 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries … Chose Arkansas over Texas A&M, Texas, TCU and others.
5-11 | 190
New Orleans, La. | McDonogh HS
Consensus three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … Listed as the No. 548 ranked overall player in the nation, No. 21 ranked player in Louisiana and No. 43 safety according to 247Sports … Considered the No. 18 player in Louisiana and No. 33 safety by Rivals … Named to the 2017 LSWA All-State Class 4A Football Team as a senior … Had 68 tackles, five interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 15 pass breakups … As a junior, had 59 tackles, six interceptions, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and scored five touchdowns in 2016 as a tremendous weapon in the kick return game as well … Coached by Wayne Reese … Chose Arkansas over Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Texas, Florida State, Michigan, TCU, Baylor, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Arizona and others.