The 2021 Rice Football class picked up a major commitment from Denton Ryan linebacker DJ Arkansas, the highest-rated member of the Owls’ class.
For DJ Arkansas, things have finally come full circle. The linebacker was the first defensive player offered a spot in the 2021 Rice Football recruiting class. That offer came back in October when the Owls were making their initial foray into the 2021 class.
Rice is historically choosy with its offers, making the first offer all the more important. It was noteworthy they opened their 2021 defensive class with a push to get the Denton Ryan defender on board. Rice made their overture clear and continued to build that relationship over time. That focus has paid dividends.
After receiving offers from schools across the country from San Diego State on the West Coast to Duke on the East Coast, the Texas native has made his decision. Even though he shares a namesake with Arkansas, who extended him an offer and made a push to woo him to the SEC, DJ Arkansas has committed to Rice.
Arkansas is the third linebacker and the fifth player to join the 2021 Rice Football Recruiting class. He joins Aidan Siano and Kenny Seymour at his position as well as offensive lineman Faaeanuu Pepe and defensive lineman Blake Boenisch. Altogether, the group represents the highest-rated recruiting class in Conference USA.
This is a huge addition for the Owls. Arkansas brings a fire and focus on the field that should make him an elite defender in Conference USA. He’s aggressive but smart. He’s knowledgable enough to know when to let the play develop and when to strike. Perhaps more important than anything else, he can get to the quarterback in a hurry and put him on the turf. Arkansas is a stopper and an exciting addition to a defense that’s already trending in the right direction.