Fayetteville, Ark. – Of the 25 recruits to sign with the University of Arkansas football team as part of the 2012 Razorback recruiting class only one has not reported to campus to date. The one player missing is North Bergen linebacker Vin Ascolese.
On Wednesday Glendale Junior College (Phoenix, Ariz.) wide receiver Demetrius Wilson (6’3”, 180 pounds) reported to campus after finishing a math class that was required to fulfill standards set forth by the SEC.
Wilson’s arrival should shore up needed experience on Arkansas’ depth chart that has been depleted since the end of the 2011 college football season by graduation (Wright, Childs, and Adams), transfers (Funderburk), and legal troubles (Whitehurtst, Wade, Humphrey).
Another thin spot in terms of experience on the Razorbacks’ depth chart is linebacker.
Of the three linebackers signed in 2011 by the Hogs only Alonzo Highsmith is a current member of Arkansas’ team. Brock Haman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) transferred before the end of spring practices. Tyler Gilbert (Sorrento, La.) was arrested and charged with felony aggravated residential burglary and theft of property by the Fayetteville police in April.
In February Arkansas signed three linebackers Otha Peters (Covington, La.), A.J. Turner (Lepanto, Ark.), and Ascolese.
On Friday Arkansas head coach John L. Smith told reporters that Ascolese’s status is in doubt hinting that a gray-shirt situation could be in his future.
Via Twitter on July 7, the 6’3”, 220 pound linebacker, assured Razorback Nation that he would be attending the University of Arkansas:
Yesss everybody OFCOURSE I’m still going to the Univ of Arkansas there’s just a little delay in my arrival time ! No worries ..
Should Ascolese be gray-shirted delaying his arrival to campus until January, Arkansas will miss out on a fiery and passionate player that has been very outspoken about his love for the Razorbacks. His famous “Razorback” sonnet became a fan favorite after being posted on Deadspin.com.
As a 2-star recruit per Rivals.com, Ascolese is perhaps the most underrated incoming recruit in terms of rankings by recruiting services.
Throughout his prep career he was a tackling machine posting 85 total tackles his sophomore year, 90 during his junior season, and finished 2011 with 134 with 57 of those coming for a loss.
Ascolese was a 2011 Parade and Semper Fidelis All-American along with earning First-Team All-State honors yet still not ranked within the states top players by Rivals.com.
His 2011 Bruins team won the state title 14-13 against Montclair in the North 1 Group 4 championship game. Montclair would later appeal the loss to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association claiming the Bruins legendary coach Vincent Ascolese recruited two of the team’s better players. Montclair won the ruling in June thus vacating the 2011 championship.
Hopefully Ascolese’s follow-up Tweet is accurate:
haha no reason to be worried anymore !
Inside the Numbers
Ascolese was offered scholarships by Illinois, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Temple, and Cincinnati before committing to the Hogs on January 27, 2012.
Arkansas Razorback Recruits 2012
OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, 6’3”, 290 pounds, Memphis, TN
OG Jeremy Ward, 3-star, 6’4”, 290 pounds, Pottsville, AR
WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, 6’1’, 175 pounds, Olive Branch, MS
WR Keon Hatcher, 4-star, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Owasso, OK
WR Eric Hawkins, 3-star, 6’5”, 220, Longview, TX
WR #Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, 6’2”, 170 pounds, Glendale, AZ
WR McKale McKay, 3-star, 6’6”, 192 pounds, Louisville, KY
RB Nathan Holmes, 3-star, 6’1”, 180 pounds, Port Arthur, TX
RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, 6’0”, 200 pounds, Norman, OK
RB Jonathan Williams, 4-star, 5’11”, 205 pounds, Allen, TX
TE/DE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, 6’6”, 215, White Hall, AR
TE *Demetrius Dean, 3-star, 6’3”, 250 pounds, Fayetteville, AR
CB Ray Buchanan Jr., 3-star, 5’10”, 170 pounds, Suwanee, GA
CB Jared Collins, 3-star, 5’11”, 170 pounds, Tulsa, OK
FS Will Hines, 3-star, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Waco, TX
SS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, 6’2”, 180 pounds, Bearden, AR
LB A.J. Turner, 3-star, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Lepanto, AR
LB Vin Ascolese, 3-star, 6’2”, 215 pounds, New Bergen, NJ
LB Otha Peters, 4-star, 6’1”, 220 pounds, Covington, LA
DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Memphis, TN
DE JaMichael Winston, 3-star, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Prichard, AL
DE Darius Philon, 3-star, 6’1”, 282 pounds, Prichard, AL
DE Deatrich Wise Jr., 4-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Carrolton, TX
DE Taiwan Johnson, 3-star, 6’3”, 240 pounds, Manvel, TX
DE *#Austin Flynn, 3-star, 6’4”, 250 pounds, Los Angeles Harbor CC
*Early enrollee at University of Arkansas
# Denotes junior college player
Position by position breakdown of Arkansas 2012 verbal commitments:
Offensive line: two
Running backs: three
Wide receivers: five
Tight ends: two
Defensive line: six