Louisiana run­ning back turns eye to­ward Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - RECRUITING / COLLEGE FOOTBALL - RICHARD DAVEN­PORT

BEAVERTON, Ore. — The Arkansas Ra­zor­backs could be get­ting a visit from one of the bet­ter run­ning backs in the na­tion for the up­com­ing ju­nior class.

John Emery Jr., 5-11, 202 pounds, of Destre­han, La., was one of only six 2019 prospects and the only run­ning back from the class in­vited to The Open­ing held July 1-3 for the top 166 top prospects in the na­tion at Nike Head­quar­ters. He has schol­ar­ship of­fers from LSU, Michi­gan, Ge­or­gia, North Carolina, Ten­nessee, Ole Miss and others.

He re­ceived his third of­fer from the Univer­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville on Jan. 27. Emery said he has no­ticed Arkansas run­ning backs hav­ing suc­cess.

“They’ve had some great run­ning backs that have come from there,” Emery said.

He also said LSU has re­cently picked up a com­mit­ment from run­ning back Tyrion Davis of Ba­ton Rouge South­ern Lab, and it ap­pears the Tigers have slowed down on their pur­suit of him.

“LSU kind of backed down,” Emery said.

He said he planned to fo­cus more on his re­cruit­ing days once he re­turned home from The Open­ing.

“I would like to build a close re­la­tion­ship with the coaches, ba­si­cally like the en­vi­ron­ment,” Emery said. “Re­ally, I want to feel com­fort­able with that col­lege.”

Ra­zor­backs re­ceivers coach Michael Smith is a New Or­leans na­tive and has been able to sign 12 prospects from Louisiana since 2014 and has a com­mit­ment from run­ning back Jeremy Gib­son of River­side Academy in Re­serve, La., for the 2018 class.

Emery perked up and smiled while talk­ing about Smith and men­tioned the pos­si­bil­ity of visit­ing the Hogs this month.

“Great guy. He’s ac­tu­ally from Louisiana,” Emery said. “We re­late well to a lot of things. He’s cool and we have a great re­la­tion­ship, too. As mat­ter a fact, I was talk­ing about visit­ing out there July 20 or some­thing.”

He said Ge­or­gia, Michi­gan and South­ern Cal are some of the other schools com­mu­ni­cat­ing with him. He said his talks with Smith flow well.

“When we talk, it’s a great con­ver­sa­tion,” Emery said.


LSU linebacker com­mit­ment Micah Baskerville, 6-2, 216, of Shreve­port Evan­gel, vis­ited Fayet­teville dur­ing the spring and said he has plans to visit again.

“I plan on visit­ing pretty soon,” Baskerville said. “I’ll prob­a­bly go next month or if I don’t go next month, I’ll prob­a­bly go for an of­fi­cial [visit].”

His team­mate, cor­ner­back Ar’Dar­ius Wash­ing­ton, who has also com­mit­ted to LSU, vis­ited with Baskerville in the spring. Baskerville said the Hogs, UCLA and Texas A&M are try­ing to flip his com­mit­ment.

He re­cently vis­ited the Bru­ins, but said the Tigers shouldn’t be con­cerned about los­ing him to an­other school.

“I’m solid. I just went for the ex­pe­ri­ence and to see some­thing new,” Baskerville said.

Baskerville, who plans to en­roll in col­lege in Jan­uary, said re­ceivers coach Michael Smith is in steady con­tact.

“He re­ally wants me to come down and visit,” Baskerville said. “He’s try­ing to make me flip.”

Whether he vis­its the Ra­zor­backs this sum­mer or not, it looks like an of­fi­cial visit is a strong pos­si­bil­ity.

“UCLA, Arkansas are the ones I know right now,” Baskerville said.

Baskerville, who’s rated a 3-star prospect by ESPN, said the Arkansas play­ers im­pressed him dur­ing his spring trip to Fayet­teville.

“When I went I watched them prac­tice and they had a pretty good prac­tice, very in­tense,” he said. “After prac­tice, we hung out and we talked to the play­ers and the play­ers were real cool.”

Email Richard Daven­port at rdav­en­port@arkansason­line.com


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