football Edit

Looking back at first commits of Arkansas' previous 15 classes

Arkansas landed the first commitment in its 2020 recruiting class Friday night when three-star wide receiver Ze’Vian Capers picked the Razorbacks over Florida, Clemson, South Carolina and others.

It has been only two days since Arkansas put the finishing touches on its 2019 class, but Capers gets the ball rolling for the upcoming recruiting cycle.

Being the first commitment has been hit-and-miss in terms of future success with the Razorbacks. Here is a look at those players in the previous 15 classes…


Technically, Evans was Arkansas’ first commitment in 2019, committing way back in the summer of 2017. However, he chose to decommit following the firing of Bret Bielema and eventually signed with North Carolina State, with a brief pledge to Colorado in between.

The first commitment for Chad Morris and the new coaching staff was Hopper, who committed in February. With several other talented defensive linemen on Arkansas’ radar, he was processed out of the class a couple of months later. That made Limmer - who pulled the trigger in March - the first commitment to stick.


Noland became the first member of Arkansas’ 2018 class when he pledged to play football and baseball for the Razorbacks on July 20, 2016. Despite a coaching change, he never wavered and inked his name while on vacation in Rome during the early signing period.

Against Tulsa this season, Noland became just the eighth true freshman in UA history to start a game at quarterback. He ended the year completing 21 of 42 passes for 255 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and has now shifted his focus to baseball, where he is expected to have a large role on the pitching staff.


The Archbishop Rummel pipeline continued with Munson, as he followed former high school teammates Henre’ Toliver, Dwayne Eugene and Briston Guidry to Fayetteville. Although recruited as a linebacker, he converted to nickel back and started against Auburn as a redshirt freshman.

Before the season finale at Missouri, Munson announced his decision to transfer and he has since landed at Nicholls, an FCS program in his home state of Louisiana.


After showing off his blazing speed at a summer camp, Jones picked up an early offer from Arkansas and committed soon after. The Razorbacks held off a late push by Alabama to secure his services. He has caught 38 passes for 592 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons.


One of the most productive high school quarterbacks in Arkansas history, Storey turned down Alabama, Auburn and others to play for the Razorbacks. He appeared in only five games during his first three years at Arkansas - including a redshirt season - before earning the starting job as a redshirt junior.

Missing one game with a concussion, Storey started nine of the 11 games in which he appeared and completed 57.2 percent of his passes for 1,584 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while adding another 146 yards and a score on the ground in 2018. He has since announced his intention to become a graduate transfer.


Many schools were after Peavey when he was coming out of Missouri in 2014, but he chose the Razorbacks. He spent two seasons at Arkansas before transferring to SMU in August 2016. After sitting out his first year because of NCAA transfer rules, Peavey was the Mustangs’ backup in Chad Morris’ final season at SMU.

With the departure of Morris, Peavey became a graduate transfer and ended up at Florida Atlantic. He made a start - the first of his career - against Louisiana Tech, but it didn’t go particularly well and he was replaced after a couple of turnovers. In eight games in a career that spanned three schools, Peavey completed 24 of 38 passes for 263 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.


Despite being the first commitment in Arkansas’ 2013 class, Blanchard never played for the Razorbacks. He decommitted shortly after Bret Bielema was hired in December 2012. Instead, Blanchard ended up and South Alabama, where he spent one year before being dismissed for a violation of team rules.

The Razorbacks’ second commitment in 2013, Deondre Skinner, also decommitted after Bielema’s hire. He signed with Houston, but had his scholarship revoked after being charged with a felony and ended up at McNeese State.

The third, fourth and fifth members of the class were a trio of players from Fayetteville High who announced their decision on the same day: Austin Allen, Brooks Ellis and Alex Brignoni. All three actually signed with Arkansas, with Allen and Ellis having successful careers and Brignoni being forced to retire because of an injury.


Expected to be the next great receiver from Warren, Cobb ended up at Coffeyville (Kan.) C.C. because he didn’t qualify academically. He never played for the Razorbacks.

Ward committed a day later and actually made it to campus. He made the switch from offensive to defensive line during his career, but never lettered.


The son of then-Arkansas assistant coach Bobby Allen, Allen’s commitment to the Razorbacks was not much of a surprise. Despite a tumultuous start to his career, which spanned from Bobby Petrino to John L. Smith to Bielema, Allen ended his career with a school-record 64 touchdown passes and has spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams in the NFL.


Feldt signed with Arkansas and spent the 2010 season as a redshirt before transferring to North Texas. The Mean Green hoped he and his brother, Boone, would anchor their offensive line, but they never panned out.


Berna never appeared in a game during two seasons with the Razorbacks before injuries ended his career. His younger sister, Calli, came to Arkansas and was a talented point guard for the women’s basketball team.


A massive 6-foot-10, 320-pound offensive lineman, Hall committed the day the Razorbacks hosted USC, when he was just a junior at Dardanelle. Houston Nutt tried to persuade him to flip to Ole Miss after Petrino was hired, but he still signed with Arkansas.

However, Hall eventually played - and started - for Nutt and the Rebels, transferring there after two seasons. He ended his career at Belhaven, an NAIA school, and then got a shot in the NFL, spending time with the Vikings, Colts and Broncos.


As soon as he was offered a scholarship, Freeman committed on the spot. He made it known about a year before National Signing Day. A tight end coming to Arkansas, he eventually packed on about 50 pounds and became an offensive lineman, starting ever game of the 2011 season at tackle.


Barnett signed with Arkansas in 2004 but had to go the JUCO route. He reaffirmed his pledge in the summer of 2005, going into his sophomore season at Trinity Valley (Texas) C.C. However, he still couldn’t qualify and eventually ended up at Memphis, where he became a two-year starter.

The second commitment of 2006 - and first to actually make it to campus - was Hart, an in-state four-star offensive lineman. He never lettered for the Razorbacks.


Originally a 2003 signee, Kidd re-committed to Arkansas more than a year before the 2005 National Signing Day while at Butler County (Kan.) C.C. The Crossett, Ark., native ended up playing at Iowa Central C.C., but never followed in the footsteps of his father, Keith, and uncle, Carl, by playing for the Razorbacks because of grades.

You may have heard of Arkansas’ second commitment - and first to actually make the team - in the Class of 2005. McFadden is still one of only four five-star prospects to come out of Arkansas and he eventually became arguably the Razorbacks’ best player ever, finishing runner-up for the Heisman Trophy twice and earning countless other offers before a 10-year NFL career.

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