2013 Prospect Rankings: Arkansas
By Matthew Osborne
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A look at the five best prospects in the state of Arkansas for the 2013 class.
Southern Pigskin’s Director of Recruiting, Matt Osborne, is compiling rankings of the top 2013 prospects in each of the states in our coverage area. Matt has worked in the past as an analyst for Scout.com and has a background in football scouting.
#1 – TE Hunter Henry (Pulaski Academy) Little Rock, AR
Playing wide receiver for his high school’s spread offense, Henry has already developed into one of the premiere pass-catching tight ends in the entire 2013 class. At 6-6, Henry is a big target who displays exceptional athleticism for a player of his stature. He uses his body to shield smaller defenders over the middle of the field and uses his outstanding hands to make very difficult catches look routine. Henry does not really line up with his hand down for his high school team, so blocking technique will be something that he will have to learn in college. However, he has shown that he is more than willing to be physical as a blocker, as he has delivered several vicious blocks from his receiver position at his current level.
Recruitment Status: Schools on his list include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and UNC.
#2 – RB Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock HS) North Little Rock, AR
Tenpenny is already considered to be one of the top overall running back prospects in the 2013 class, but once he starts utilizing his entire skill set, he has a chance to become truly elite. An outstanding athlete, Tenpenny runs with tremendous patience for such a young back. Tenpenny excels at setting up his blockers and explodes through tight spaces when holes eventually open up. In the open field, he displays excellent speed, foot quickness and lateral agility. If there is one area where you would like to see Tenpenny improve, it would be running with more power. Weighing over 200 pounds, Tenpenny could be a force if he were to focus on lowering his pad level with greater consistency.
Recruitment Status: Verbally committed to Alabama.
#3 – QB Austin Allen (Fayetteville HS) Fayetteville, AR
Allen isn’t as tall as many other quarterback prospects, but he has made up for his lack of size by mastering the mental aspects of the position. The son of a football coach, Allen has an outstanding knowledge of defensive schemes and he is a master at attacking them where they are most vulnerable. Possessing solid arm strength and accuracy, Allen moves his feet well in the pocket, while always keeping his eyes downfield. Batted passes are an area of concern, as his low delivery can be problematic at times. Overall, Allen is a high-intelligence quarterback with better than average physical tools.
Recruitment Status: Early offers include Arkansas, Ole Miss and UNC.
#4 – LB Brooks Ellis (Fayetteville HS) Fayetteville, AR
Playing alongside Austin Allen for one of Arkansas’ top high school teams, Ellis really emerged onto the recruiting scene after a very strong junior season. He uses his hands well in thwarting off opposing blockers, which helps make up for his lack of top end speed. Ellis diagnoses plays very quickly, although you would like to see him be more aggressive in attacking the play as soon as he knows where it is heading. Regardless, Ellis rarely finds himself out of position and he can use his supreme strength to maneuver any defenders standing in his way. If he learns to fully trust his eyes when diagnosing plays, his tackling production will increase drastically.
Recruitment Status: Arkansas is currently his leader.
#5 – LB C.J. Gooden (Ashdown HS) Ashdown, AR
Gooden is an exceptional athlete who is completely fearless when pursuing the football. Once Gooden knows where the football is headed, he is flying at top speed to deliver a punishing hit to the person carrying the ball. His intensity can actually work against him at times, as he sometimes pursues the football too hard and runs past the play. Gooden is extremely physical and strong, but he still needs to learn how to use his hands in order to shed blockers. Gooden is by no means a perfect player, but the good news is that almost all of his flaws can be easily corrected.
Recruitment Status: Holds one early offer from Tulsa.