Top in-state targets become buddies

Springdale Har-Ber four-star Josh Frazier and El Dorado three-star Bijhon Jackson share more than just a birthday, a love for football and the status of being two of the top three players in the state for 2014.

Bijohn Jackson (left) posted this picture on his Facebook page after he and Josh Frazier (right) visted Arkasnas on Feb. 2.

There’s a friendship building between the two defensive tackles – and also a little friendly competition, according to Frazier.

“I played him in like sophomore year and he kind of said what’s up, I know about you. And I was like, I know about you, too, and whatever,” Frazier told Hawgs247 while competing against Jackson in the 5A-7A state indoor track and field championships Feb. 2 at Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center.

Since that time, the recruiting attention has heated up for both prospects.

Jackson (6-1, 340) remains solidly committed to Arkansas, a decision he made Dec. 20, and also has offers from Arkansas State and Ole Miss. Frazier (6-3, 324) has offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, USC and Arkansas State.

Both are among the Razorbacks’ top targets for 2014.

And they’ve become buddies since El Dorado’s 27-20 victory over Har-Ber back in 2011.

“We kind of just talked to each other over Twitter and seeing who’s getting the biggest and what-not,” Frazier said. “Kind of a little friendly competition and stuff.”

Frazier is the more highly rated of the two as the No. 5 defensive tackle in the nation, No. 48 prospect overall and No. 1 prospect in Arkansas. He has a grade of 96 from 247Sports.

Jackson is rated the No. 3 player in the state and the No. 26 defensive tackle in the nation with a grade of 87.

But Jackson might have the edge in the weight room right now. He told Hawgs247 that he’s benching 385 pounds and squatting 550. Frazier said the last time he maxed out, he was at 370 on bench and 525 on squat – but that was last year.

So we probably won’t know for sure who gets the nod in the weight room this spring until after basketball season and then outdoor track.

Frazier has taken his talents to the hardwood, where he’s playing for Har-Ber’s junior varsity team. And after that, he’s going to focus on the shot put for outdoor track.

“After basketball is over I’m going to get in track and work on my form and really get better at shot put because shot put is one of my favorite sports – track and field – and I’m dedicated to it,” Frazier said. “After that, full-on football, get back in the weight room, getting some speed training and get ready for summer. Take some visits and stuff like that.”

As far as the visits go, Frazier’s planning on checking out Arkansas some more – he visited the UA four weeks ago, and then visited again with Jackson on Feb. 2 – and would also like to see Alabama, Auburn and possibly LSU and Texas A&M.

But before it gets to that, he has to get out of basketball and track mode. He’s competing in track and field this year for the first time since he was in junior high.

Frazier feels like those sports help him on the gridiron.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Basketball really helps me with my endurance cause you’re running up and down the court all the time. Helps with agility, quickness. You’ve got to be fast on your feet, you’ve got to be able to move on defense, know where you’re going. You’ve got to keep up with the guy you’re guarding if the guy’s faster than you or what-not. There are some speedy little guys that try to guard me. … Weight room we do lots of endurance type stuff where football it’s more quick, power movement and kind of like five reps. We do 10 reps on bench and all that stuff. So it’s more of a gaining endurance muscle and getting my vertical better and all that stuff.

“Track, it helps with coordination, foot movement and a power position, getting out of that power position kind of like when you’re down in stance, you know. I want to be able to get out quick and stuff like that.”

As for his recruiting, Frazier has said numerous times that he plans on evaluating his options for a while before making a decision.

But Arkansas remains firmly in the mix and figures to be around late in his process.

Defensive tackles coach Charlie Partridge was at Frazier’s basketball game Feb. 1. After the game, Har-Ber football coach Chris Wood pulled Frazier aside and told him the Hogs wanted Frazier and Jackson to visit the school together the next day.

And so after they competed against each other in the state indoor shot put finals – Jackson was fifth with 46-0 ¼, while Frazier finished at 44-4 in the finals – they headed over to the UA together and hung out with the coaches.

“Me and Bijhon, we live far away (from each other),” Frazier said. “I live up here. He lives all the way down there. So he kind of just wanted to get us in the same room together, kind of talk to us both.”

Jackson has been working on Frazier to become a Razorback.

And the two in-state prospects with the same Nov. 6 birthday are hitting it off.

“Yeah, it’s been cool,” Frazier said. “He’s been cool.”

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