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UA Recruiting: 3 Needs on Offense

The recruiting class at Arkansas this week has started to see it crumble a little bit, but for the most part it seems to still be hanging together.

Fayetteville 4-star quarterback Austin Allen is one of Arkansas' top recruits.

On Saturday, Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington 3-star Dominique Alexander said he was solid to Arkansas. On Monday, he not only decommitted from Arkansas, but then committed to Oklahoma later in the day.

On Thursday, Pulaski Academy 4-star tight end Hunter Henry's father, Mark, said his son will take an official visit to Alabama this weekend. Henry is still committed to Arkansas, but will now take his five official visits. Arkansas will get one of the trips.

The general hope at Arkansas is when Arkansas gets its new head coach that he can convince Henry to stay in the fold with the Razorbacks. Arkansas currently has Henry and Patterson (La.) 3-star Deondre Skinner committed at tight end. Fayetteville 4-star Austin Allen and Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage 3-star Tyler Cogswell give Arkansas a very solid quarterback class.

Here is a look at at three positions on offense the new coach must shore up when he is hired and who is still committed to the Razorbacks is taken into consideration here though more could jump off the commitment list as time goes on:

Offensive Linemen
Last year, Arkansas signed two offensive linemen and this year they have two or three committed depending on Navarro (Texas) Junior College's Zach Fondal. The 3-star Fondal says he's committed to Arkansas, but it's still not certain he can get into school here as he hopes. Navarro 3-star guard Malcolm Bell is set to sign with Arkansas in December, but Washington State, Kansas and Grambling are among the schools still recruiting him. Butler County (Kan.) Community College 2-star Johnathan McClure is a solid commitment to the Razorbacks. McClure is a solid player despite his ranking. However, Arkansas needs tackles. Both linemen signed last year were interior players and both Bell and McClure are interior players. Arkansas needs to find some tackles and preferably some high school recruits they can sign and develop. The new coach can't let the offensive line situation get in the shape it has gotten in at Arkansas now relying so heavily on junior college and walk-on recruits to play. Arkansas has taken the approach of recruiting national blue chip offensive tackles, but are guilty of not having a good back-up plan when they don't sign them.

Running Back
Yes, running back. It seems weird that this is a position of need, but it is. Arkansas is in great shape seemingly with Denham Springs (La.) 3-star Kaleb Blanchard, but needs to sign one additional running back. Arkansas obviously hopes that is North Little Rock 4-star Altee Tenpenny, but he's committed to Alabama and has been since late January. Jonathan Williams has been a nice addition to the stable of backs at Arkansas and now Nathan Holmes is back at running back after trying cornerback for a few weeks. With the loss of seniors Ronnie Wingo and Dennis Johnson for sure and the likely loss of Knile Davis the Razorbacks desperately need at least one more back. Kody Walker will be back next year and can play either running back or fullback and all the tailbacks will benefit from fullback Kiero Small's return.

Wide Receiver
This has to be the biggest mystery on this team. Arkansas has one playmaker at wide receiver in senior Cobi Hamilton. How could a team running Bobby Petrino's offense and having quarterbacks such as Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson not have receivers beating down the door to get to Fayetteville? That's a legitimate question, but right now that won't be the concern for the new coach. The concern will be getting some more impact receivers onto campus. Arkansas signed a good group of receivers last year with Mekale McKay earning a starting spot for most of the year. Keon Hatcher, Demetrius Wilson and D'Arthur Cowan have played though not making a large impact at this point. Wilson has looked good in flashes, but his playing time has been inconsistent. When they have thrown to him though he has caught the ball and generally made good things happen. The question for the new coach though is who will be the go-to receivers next year when Hamilton is gone? Eric Hawkins has good speed and is redshirting this year as a true freshman. Javontee Herndon, Keante Minor and Julian Horton will return. Brandon Mitchell wants to return to quarterback next season instead of spend another year at receiver. Arkansas has commitments from Frisco (Texas) Centennial 3-star Lamar Jordan and Amite (La.) 3-star Jervenski Johnson so far. The new coach might be well served by trying to find an impact receiver from a junior college if one is available.

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