Louisiana running back turns eye toward Arkansas
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.
TRYING TO FLIP
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.”
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