FAYETTEVILLE – A 1-5 start to the Chad Morris era was not what fans had hoped for, but the Razorback faithful have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of Arkansas football. Somehow, some way, Morris and his staff continue to overcome their slow start on the field by adding commitments from one heavily recruited prospect after another.

Last Monday, it was Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman four-star wide receiver Trey Knox who jumped on board with the Hogs.

This past Sunday, the Razorbacks made national waves again with the verbal commitment of four-star defensive end Dante Walker of Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove.

Walker, 6-2, 240, began his official visit in Fayetteville last Friday night, and almost no one gave the Hogs any chance at landing a verbal pledge this early in his recruiting process.

After all, the defensive end with offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and others was a late-week addition to the Hogs’ official visit list, and had every intention to use all of his remaining visits before reaching a decision.

At the same time, though, Walker was ready to find a home. He found everything he wanted and then some in Fayetteville.

“It feels great to be a Razorback,” Walker said. “I feel like I’ve found a home. That’s my family now. I’m 100-percent locked in. My mom is very excited, too. It was a fun visit. It’s a home feeling. (Saturday) night at dinner, I just felt like one of the family members.”

Walker waited until Sunday evening to share the news with his lead recruiter, defensive tackles coach John Scott, Jr., who recruits the state of Georgia for the Razorbacks.

“He was very excited. Coach Morris was, too,” Walker said. 

Morris and his staff have every right to be excited, as their 2019 recruiting class now ranks No. 19 in the country on 247Sports and as high as No. 13 in the nation on other networks.

The addition of Walker gives the Hogs one of the nation’s best defensive class classes, too – a very rare feat for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks now have a total of eight defensive linemen committed for this year’s class, and five of them are rated four-stars on at least one of the major recruiting coverage networks.

The other three are very solid prospects with multiple SEC-type offers, giving Arkansas its most impressive defensive line class in the modern recruiting era.

There’s a good chance the Razorbacks aren’t done adding to the group yet, as Mansfield (Texas) Legacy defensive lineman Taurean Carter will announce his college decision on October 24.

Carter, 6-4, 260, was in town for an official visit this past weekend, as well. 

He will decide between three schools: Arkansas, Michigan State and Wisconsin, and the Razorbacks own all 13 of the Crystal Ball predictions made by analysts on 247Sports.

Prior to Carter’s announcement, the Hogs could land what would arguably be their biggest commitment of the year as Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy tight end Hudson Henry plans to announce his decision this Thursday.

Henry, 6-5, 230, is the No. 1 tight end prospect in the country for this year’s class.

His decision comes down to Arkansas and Stanford, and he is fresh off an official visit at Palo Alto (Calif.) this past weekend.

Still, the Razorbacks have reasons to be hopeful leading into Henry’s announcement. 

After all, several members of Henry’s family – including two brothers in former tight end Hunter Henry and current Arkansas linebacker Hayden Henry – all attended the UA.

Should the youngest Henry choose to stay at home with the Hogs, it will solidify Arkansas’ 2019 class as school’s highest-rated in program history.