Hogs sign star football recruit, Texas Bowl sold out
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The Razorback football program continues to be active even if the team is not on the field. Head Coach Bret Bielema has inked a highly recruited tight end, and the Texas Bowl featuring the Hogs against the Longhorns has sold out.
Bielema’s office announced recently that four-star tight end and Arkansas native Will Gragg has inked a grant-in-aid agreement and will enroll in January. A consensus four-star recruit out of Dumas, Ark., Gragg is ranked the No. 2 recruit in Arkansas and No. 7 tight end in the nation, according to 247sports.com.
In his final season at Dumas High School, Gragg hauled in 42 passes for 456 yards and two touchdowns. Gragg spent his junior campaign at Pine Bluff High School where he caught 31 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns.
Gragg selected Arkansas over offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas, Mississippi State and LSU. Razorback football runs in Gragg’s family as he follows in the footsteps of his older brother, former Razorback great and current Buffalo Bills tight end, Chris Gragg.
“We’re ecstatic to welcome Will into the Razorback family,” said Bielema. “Will is already such a balanced tight end that we’re looking forward to see what his physicality and quickness brings to our offense in the spring. Will possesses the uncommon qualities that we are looking for in our men on and off the field, and the fact that he is from Arkansas only makes his choice that much more exciting.”
According to Rivals.com, Arkansas’ 2015 signing class ranks No. 22 in the nation. Gragg joins quarterback Ty Storey, offensive lineman Zach Rogers, defensive end Daytrieon Dean, defensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt and defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter as Arkansas’ early signees that will enroll January.
SOLD OUT BOWL MATCHUP
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment officials announced Thursday (Dec. 18) that all single-game tickets for the Dec. 29 matchup between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Arkansas Razorbacks at the 2014 AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in NRG Stadium in Houston have been sold. It’s the first time since the bowl’s inception that single-game tickets have sold out.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl officials encourage fans still interested in attending the game to go to Ticketmaster Plus, the only safe and secure secondary Ticket Exchange for the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. Ticketmaster Plus allows fans to buy and sell tickets to the game. Fans should use caution when looking for tickets anywhere other than through the participating schools, the NRG Stadium box office, and Ticketmaster.com.
The Longhorns, representing the Big 12, and the Razorbacks, representing the SEC, will kick off at 8 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
Texas and Arkansas have met a total of 77 times with the most recent game being in September 2008, a 52-10 victory for Texas. The Longhorns lead the all-time series 56-21 and have now won the last two matchups (2004, 2008). Old Southwest Conference rivals, Texas and Arkansas met for the first time in 1894 with the Longhorns winning 54-0.
THE RAZORBACK ASSISTANT COACHES SAY …
Hogs Running backs coach Joel Thomas on playing the Texas Bowl in the Monday Night Football TV slot: “We are the show on Monday night, not just in Arkansas or the SEC, but in America. Our guys have played in the spotlight and in big games and I know they will embrace this opportunity.”
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith on the team’s confidence: “Anytime you have success and you prepare like our boys have prepared, it leads to confidence. We will always have that moving forward and preparing for this bowl game and even going into next season as a tool for momentum. I think Coach Bielema does a great job encouraging all of us, players and coaches, to buy into what we are trying to accomplish.”
Tight ends coach Barry Lunney on freshman tight end Jack Kraus: “Jack has really slimmed down, which I think is a positive thing. He has trimmed his body fat significantly. Jack has gotten the majority of the reps with the younger guys, reason being the rest of my group typically plays on Saturdays. We’ve seen some good things from him, and he’s shown some flashes of the reason we signed him.”
Defensive line coach Rory Segrest on freshman defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson: “Bijohn has come a really long way. He is probably playing half our snaps at the nose position. Earlier in the year I was trying to spot rep him here and there until he found his way through, but from a technique standpoint he has come such a long way. He has the physical tools – he just needs to continue to get better.”