BREAKING: Hogs land big lineman from Georgia
Arkansas has landed a second commitment in as many days, as Ian Geffrard pulled the trigger Monday night.
The big lineman from Georgia follows in the footsteps of safety Christian Ford, who committed Sunday afternoon, and becomes the 14th member of the Razorbacks’ 2023 class.
The timing of Geffrard’s decision was a bit of a surprise because he told HawgBeat a day earlier that Auburn still had a slight edge because of its proximity to his hometown of Mableton, Ga., where he attends Whitefield Academy.
However, he also said the two SEC West programs were “on the same level” and that he was willing to put the extra distance aside “because of the people that are here.”
“I really enjoyed it,” Geffrard said after his official visit. “I enjoyed the people and the place overall, the location of Arkansas. It was a great first impression the first time being in Arkansas. I really liked it.”
Listed at 6-foot-6, 355 pounds, Geffrard is an offensive tackle in the Rivals database, but is primarily being recruited by the Razorbacks as a defensive tackle. Other schools — such as Auburn and Boston College, where he previously visited — wanted him as an offensive lineman.
During his time in Fayetteville, Arkansas pitched him the idea that if things don’t work out on defense, he could flip to the other side of the ball. That’s why interacting with both defensive line coach Deke Adams and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy — as well as head coach Sam Pittman — was the highlight of his visit.
“Probably having my first interaction with Coach Adams — interacting with him and Coach Kennedy because they said if defensive line doesn’t work out for me, I can also play offensive line for Coach Kennedy,” Geffrard said. “Then it’s good seeing Coach Pittman again because I remember seeing him at Georgia one time for a camp.
“It’s funny because he probably doesn’t remember me. It’s always a good time seeing a lot of the staff that I’ve seen that I feel like the next time I see them it will be the same feeling, like happy and nostalgic or excited to just have fun with them again.”
The Razorbacks already have a pair of defensive ends — Kaleb James and Quincy Rhodes — committed in the 2023 class, but Geffrard is the first defensive tackle. In fact, he’s just the fourth high school defensive tackle to jump on board in four years under Pittman.
Of the first three, only Cam Ball remains on the team, as Andy Boykin and Solomon Wright have transferred out. The Razorbacks have also signed a pair of JUCO defensive tackles, with Taylor Lewis coming in this year and Jalen Williams transferring out, as well as a few from the portal in John Ridgeway, Markell Utsey and Terry Hampton.
The addition of Lewis and Hampton were big for the 2022 team because of the lack of depth at the position. During spring ball, Arkansas had only four scholarship defensive tackles: Isaiah Nichols, Taurean Carter, Ball and Marcus Miller.
All four of those players could potentially return in 2023, if Nichols chooses to use his extra year of eligibility, plus Lewis will still be on the team, so the position should have more depth by the time Geffrard arrives.