Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Louisiana lineman a big fan of Arkansas staff

- RICHARD DAVENPORT E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansason­ Read Richard Davenport’s RECRUITING BLOG wholehogsp­

University of Arkansas offensive line target Devon Manuel’s recruitmen­t isn’t what he expected at this time, thanks to the coronaviru­s.

The pandemic forced the NCAA to implement a dead period on March 13. It was to run until April 15 but was extended to May 31. The period forbids prospects and coaches from having faceto-face contact on or off campus. That includes the spring evaluation period from April 15 to May 31 that allows coaches to visit schools to evaluate prospects.

“It definitely stopped a lot of things that I think that was suppose to happen, but it is what it is,” Manuel said. “Hopefully in June everything picks back up.”

His ability to attend school is something he misses the most.

“Going to school honestly, I’ve never wanted to go to school as much in my life,” Manuel said.

Manuel, 6-8, 315 pounds, of Arnaudvill­e (La.) Beau Chene High School has scholarshi­p offers from Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State, Houston, Kansas, South Alabama, Louisiana Tech and others.

He was able to visit Fayettevil­le on March 7 before the dead period began. He received an offer from the Hogs during the trip and has Arkansas as his leader.

“The staff is just very welcoming,” Manuel said. “They showed a lot of hospitalit­y, and the facilities and everything else is nice.”

Razorbacks offensive line coach Brad Davis is a big draw.

“Me and Coach Davis talk just about every other day. He obviously wants me to go play for him, and I obviously want to play for him. For me and my family, it would be a good football program for me.”

“He’s a cool coach, he’s cool, he’s funny,” Manuel said. “Like I’ve said before he’s got that personalit­y you always want to be around. He keeps it real.”

Manuel bench pressed 325 pounds, squatted 565 and power-cleaned 305 last summer. The dead period forced him to cancel a return trip to Fayettevil­le along with visits to LSU, Baylor, Central Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn and Kansas. Once the dead period is lifted, he plans to visit many of the schools.

“Ole Miss, Auburn, hopefully, I want to go back to Arkansas,” he said. “The University of Central Florida, Indiana, Kansas. That’s about it.”

Should the dead period be lifted on May, 31, Manuel has a time frame in mind for his college decision.

“I was possibly thinking right before my season starts,” Manuel said.

Manuel is doing what he can to maintain his strength and conditioni­ng without the benefit of attending school and going through spring practice and offseason workouts.

“I work out every day at home, like push-up, sit-ups, crunches,” Manuel said. “I have a loop in my neighborho­od.

“First thing I do is I walk around the loop once or twice to build up a sweat and get my body warmed up and then I’ll jog around the loop and then go in backyard and do sprints from one side to the other.

“I wish I could be at school getting those good football workouts. There’s no type of workout like you do at school.”

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