Arkansas’ football program has seen a monumental turnaround in recent seasons, going from 2-10 straight seasons in 2018 and 2019 to a 9-4 campaign capped by an Outback Bowl victory last year .
A big part of that turnaround was back-to-back star quarterbacks in Feleipe Franks and KJ Jefferson. However, Jefferson needs to move on in the next two years and Arkansas will need a new star quarterback.
Malik Hornsby is already on campus and the Razorbacks have four-star Malachi Singleton committed to the current recruiting class, but depending on how long Jefferson has been playing in Fayetteville, the answer could be in the 2024 class.
Little Rock Christian quarterback Walker White is one such potential successor. He’s a four-star prospect, Arkansas’ highest-ranked rookie and the No. 12 quarterback in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite.
With a composite rating of 0.9321, White is ranked No. 173 overall. That makes him the highest-rated quarterback in the state since Auburn signee Kiehl Frazier (.9725, No. 53) of Shiloh Christian in Springdale.
Despite being just a junior, the talented caller already has scholarship offers from a number of top schools including Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, State of Mississippi, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Louisville and others. Arkansas has one thing other schools don’t have, and that’s a history with the White family.
Check out a breakdown of Walker White’s second film from HawgBeat:
Family ties to the Razorbacks
John David White, a former Arkansas wide receiver and Zac White, a former Razorbacks baseball player, are Walker White’s older brothers. He also has a great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle who played football for the Razorbacks, while his father was a golfer in Arkansas.
Even with the ties in state and family, White isn’t a sure thing for the Razorbacks and is weighing all of his options. There is no shortage of them and the list will probably grow as the season progresses.
“I have ties there, but I also understand the position I’m in,” White said in an interview with Campus 2 Canton. “I understand that many colleges would want me to be their quarterback. I really thought about it. I said this to my family, ‘Look, I’m not just going to go to Arkansas because you all went to Arkansas.’ I’m going to go where I think I can play football. If it ends up being Arkansas, then yeah, let’s go. But if it ends up being any other school, then yeah, let’s go. Because I just want to play football.
“My summary of that answer is no, I’m not just from Arkansas. Getting an offer from there was very cool, but getting an offer from anywhere else is just as cool. Understand that other colleges and d “Other varsity coaches want me, it’s cool. It’s a cool position to be in. I’m completely open to going where it suits me best.”
The recruitment of Walker White
White isn’t lacking in interest, but remains quiet about where he’s going for now. He recently revealed, however, that it won’t be long before we have a better idea of what he’s planning.
“I’ve reduced it a lot right now,” White said after a win at Shiloh earlier this month. “Probably February 2023 – or March. February or March is when I’ll take a look at you.
Also during his chat with Campus 2 Canton, White said he was advised to sign up a little earlier than some so he could entice other players to join. He also revealed that the key elements he looks for in his choice of college are team culture, relationships with the coaches he will be spending most of his time with, and whether that school has any quarterbacks already committed to his school. class.
White has an athletic 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame with room to fill. He’s an accurate passer with quick feet and the speed to break up a long run. He showed all his tools on September 2, when he led Little Rock Christian to a dominating 49-14 victory over Shiloh Christian.
Playing just up the road in Springdale allowed Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman and tight ends coach Dowell Loggains to see White in person.
“It meant a lot because Coach Pittman told me it was the first high school game he attended as a head coach,” White told WholeHogSports. “It was really an honor. It was really cool to hear.
White didn’t let that take away from her performance. He was still locked up and looked focused. He was very good at the start despite the added pressure from the Head Hog in the house.
Walker White reconnaissance report
The result was an impressive performance in which he completed 15 of 25 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed eight times for 71 yards and three more touchdowns, subsequently earning praise from Arkansas coaches.
He started the scoring with a short touchdown run, quickly turning the corner and getting between a pile of defenders. He also showed his moving passes early, throwing a touchdown pass while moving to his right. White used his legs as well as his arm throughout the match as Little Rock Christian ran a lot more bootlegs to the right to get him out of the pocket. He seemed most comfortable on the move.
At the start of the game, his passes were almost perfect. He had a tight spiral and hit his receivers in stride and where only they could catch the ball. Not only could he run through, but he was very stable in the pocket and didn’t rush his throws. His best pass of the game came from the pocket, throwing a penny 15 yards into the left seam.
White showed his raw talent and why he’s a highly sought after rookie, but there were some areas that needed work. Most of the things he needs to work on should be easily fixable with experience and coaching.
He was intercepted in the second quarter because he was looking at his target and didn’t read the security lurking. He also seemed hesitant at times to let it rip, which didn’t lead to any deep realization.
Experience will help in all of these areas – feeling comfortable in the pocket, watching defenders and reading the defense. This assessment must have been picky as White is very talented and he is already good in all aspects, but a little more experience will help him prepare for Division I football and maximize his potential.
The second half was mostly a running game as Little Rock Christian had a big lead and started chewing up the clock. White, however, was not done showing his talent. Late in the third quarter, he showed his speed by breaking up a long touchdown run.
An NFL Comparison
White already has a good game and knows where he wants to go regarding the type of player. He compares himself to – and says he wants to look like – Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“Obviously you look at Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, the throws they’re making are crazy,” White said at Campus 2 Canton. “But Josh Allen, he’s a football player. I want to be able to run like him, but if you look, he can also be a pocket player as much as he wants.
“That’s me. I can stay in the pocket. My pocket movement has increased (significantly) and my feel, like in my breakouts. I can do my dropbacks and I can go through my three-step read and do a throw based on leverage, but I can also run the ball in. If the pocket collapses, I can escape and play with my feet.
He needs to fill his frame more to be the next Josh Allen, who is a tough, very strong man at 6-foot-5 and 237 pounds. White might be able to reach that point in a few years — after all, Allen weighed just 215 pounds when he signed with Wyoming out of college.
For now, though, he looks like another quarterback featured in that Campus 2 Canton interview: Kenny Pickett. He was selected in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers from the University of Pittsburgh.
“I understand that Kenny Pickett has just been drafted. By the way, he is one hell of a quarterback. He was a dog,” White said on Campus 2 Canton. “They encourage me to get on campus, and I would love to get on campus. I created a good relationship with Coach DiBiaso.
“But they didn’t say things like ‘You could be the next Pickett’, because my game and Pickett’s game are different. I admire Kenny Pickett in the sense that the way he throws is so precise and he knows where to go every time. And he’s a football player, you can look at him, he’s a player. Pittsburgh is a really interesting school. For me, it’s too early to say what my top three or my top five, but Pittsburgh is a school I could potentially see myself going to.
White can see differences in their games, but he and Pickett have a lot of similarities. They both have sleeker builds, have the speed and athleticism to run the ball effectively, and are very accurate passers.
He followed his performance against Shiloh by staying in Northwest Arkansas and making another unofficial visit to Arkansas the next day. Having been to campus a few times before, this gave him the opportunity to meet Pittman and watch the Razorbacks pull off a hard-fought win over Cincinnati.
White’s season-opening performances should definitely put him at the top of the 2024 priority list. Arkansas has a foot in the door with Walker White.
“After a good win on Friday, it was just fun to get up there and hang out with all the coaches,” White told WholeHogSports. “They were really excited. The energy, it was electric. It was just fun to be up there talking with Coach Pittman and seeing all the coaches again and watching the Hogs get a good win.
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