FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas improved its chances for one of the top defensive prospects in the nation when Vernon Broughton of Houston (Texas) Cy Ridge made an official visit in Fayetteville over the weekend. The 6-5, 286-pound lineman with a who’s-who list of scholarship offers brought six family members along for the trip and was impressed by what he found on the Hill.
“Visit-wise, to be honest, it was just amazing,” Broughton said. “Coach (Chad) Morris was great and seeing how much my family loved it was great. That is a fact and it is very important to me. Overall, they thought it was amazing as well.
“My host was (senior defensive end) Gabe Richardson. There were a lot of highlights on the visit. The biggest was probably (Saturday) night at Coach Morris’ house. That was a lot of fun and a great time. It was really nice.”
Broughton recently trimmed his list to six schools including Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Texas and Texas A&M. He’s already taken official visits at Texas and Arkansas, and now plans to visit the Ohio State Buckeyes this weekend.
“I have been to Texas and Arkansas and my next one will be to Ohio State,” Broughton said. “This one really helped Arkansas. Like I’ve said, it was amazing here.”
Broughton, who is the No. 71 overall prospect according to 247Sports, is being recruited by first-year Arkansas defensive tackles coach Kenny Ingram and most of the Razorbacks’ entire coaching staff.
“Coach Morris is a great guy and it was fun just getting to know him,” Broughton said. “They are all great coaches and just getting to know them was a highlight and hearing what they think I can do for them.”
247Sports regional analyst Gabe Brooks has evaluated Broughton closely over the last two years and believes he has future NFL potential.
“He’s a big-bodied defensive lineman with potential to fit multiple positions depending on scheme,” Brooks said. “Broad-shouldered and he possesses terrific height. Broughton is college-ready size with frame space to easily get north of 300 pounds with good weight.
“He has predominantly played four-man end, but likely best fits four-man tackle or odd-front end in college. Flashes impressive quickness off the ball relative to size and is a solid tackler who wraps and drives. He shows noticeable close-quarters power on tape.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Broughton is the No. 6 defensive tackle prospect nationally and the No. 10 overall player in his home state of Texas.
Arkansas has eight commitments for the Class of 2020 and is currently ranked 23rd in the nation by the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
The Razorbacks’ collection of commitments also ranks eighth in the conference.
The Hogs’ class includes a pair of four-stars in wide receiver Ze’Vian Capers of Cumming (Ga.) Denmark and offensive lineman Ty’Kieast Crawford of Carthage (Texas), as well as three-stars in Marshall (Texas) wide receiver Savion Williams, Austin (Texas) Westlake wide receiver Mason Mangum, Crockett (Texas) tight end Allen Horace, McKinney (Texas) North tight end Brandon Frazier, Jonesboro (Ark.) defensive end Jashaud Stewart, and New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr cornerback Jamie Vance.
Arkansas could receive more good news throughout the month as the Hogs are still set to host four more high school prospect camps on the Hill. One prospect who could become Arkansas’ ninth commitment is Morris’s son, quarterback Chandler Morris of Dallas (Texas) Highland Park.
Sources suggest the younger Morris, who owns offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Clemson, Auburn and many others, is likely to make his decision sometime in the next few weeks.