Fayetteville, Ark. – New Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema added his first two verbal commitments since joining the Arkansas staff in December on Saturday. The Hogs added offensive guard Reeve Koehler and punter Sam Irwin-Hill to their 2013 recruiting class.
The fanfare may not follow punter Sam Irwin-Hill on national recruiting boards but the significance of his commitment should not go unrecognized. While Irwin-Hill was punting for City College of San Francisco (JC) he averaged 40.6 yards per punt in 2011 and 46.1 yards per in 2012.
One of Arkansas’ most valuable players during the 2012 college football season was senior punter Dylan Breeding. Breeding ranked No. 8 in FBS punting for an average of 45.6 yards per punt on 53 attempts.
Time and time again Breeding flipped the field for the Razorbacks throughout his career putting the defense in position to apply extra pressure on the opposition deep in their own territory. Look for Irwin-Hill to do the same for the Razorbacks over the next two seasons.
Hill, 6’3”, 210 pounds, is rated by 247Sports as the top punter in the nation. His 2-star classification, which usually is as high as recruiting services will rank any special teams kicker, may drag the Razorbacks recruiting numbers down but his contributions on the field, should they translate from the junior college ranks, should prove to be a very worthy scholarship offer.
The path of Hill to the Razorbacks is an interesting one; Hill is originally from Catholic College Bendigo in Australia.
Hill received scholarship offers from Miami (FL), Louisiana Tech, and Utah State before picking Arkansas.
The other big recruit for the Hogs on Saturday was 4-star offensive lineman Reeve Koehler from St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Koehler’s size varies depending upon the recruiting service, listed anywhere 280 to 320 pounds, the 6’3” road-grader is rated as the second best player in the state of Hawaii and the 14th best offensive guard in the nation by 247Sports. Rivals thinks higher of the Arkansas commitment rating him as the No. 8 guard in the nation.
Top football programs across the nation were lining up to get Koehler’s services on the football field. As many as 12 programs offered Koehler including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State, Washington State, Washington, Kansas, Arizona State, and California.
The Hogs could get two more verbal commitments in the near future from Plantation, Florida defensive tackle Monty Nelson and West Palm Beach, Florida defensive tackle Ke’Tyrus Marks. Both are scheduled to visit on Jan. 25 and expected to verbally commit if all goes well while on campus.
Arkansas Razorback Commitments for the 2013 Recruiting Class
1. QB Austin Allen, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 3-Star
2. LB Brooks Ellis, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 3-Star
3. SS Alex Brignoni, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 3-Star
4. SS Khari Harding, Edmond, Oklahoma, 3-Star
5. TE Hunter Henry, Little Rock, Arkansas, 4-Star
6. LB Myke Tavarres, Weed (JC), California, 3-Star*
7. CB Carroll Washington, Salinas (JC), California, 4-Star*
8. DE Tevin Beanum, Forrest City, Arkansas, 3-Star
9. OT John McClure, El Dorado (JC), Texas, 3-Star*
10. WR Drew Morgan, Greenwood, 3-Star
11. SS Tiquention Coleman, Milledgeville (JC), Georgia, 3-Star*
12. LB Martrell Spaight, Coffeyville (JC), Kansas, 3-Star*
13. P Sam Irwin-Hill, City College of San Francisco (JC), 2-Star
14. OG Reeve Koehler, Honolulu, Hawaii, 4-Star
Arkansas Razorback Commitments for the 2014 Recruiting Class
1. QB Rafe Peavey, Bolivar, Missouri, 4-Star
2. DT Bijhon Jackson, El Dorado, Arkansas, 4-Star
3. RB Juan Day, North Little Rock, Arkansas, not rated
Verbal commitments are non-binding.
* Denotes signed Letter of Intent.