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January 18, 2011
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Two freshmen, two prep school recruits and one junior college recruit have enrolled at Arkansas a semester early and will go through spring practices.
Springdale (Ark.) 4-star offensive tackle Brey Cook, 6-7, 314, headlines the group. Rivals.com rated Cook the No. 59 offensive tackle recruit in the nation before the last rankings release. He was a national recruit with offers from the likes of USC, Oklahoma, Oregon, Alabama and others.
Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith's Quinta Funderburk, 6-5, 204, is also a national recruit with offers out of Alabama, Florida, USC, Michigan and others. Rivals.com rates him the No. 9 prospect in Virginia and the No. 39 receiver in the country.
Charlotte (NC) Tech linebacker Tyler Gilbert, 6-3, 245, is originally from River Ridge (La.) John Curtis High School. Late onto the recruiting scene, he visited Arkansas on Dec. 12 and committed shortly afterwards. Arkansas has been aware of him for a couple of years in spite of his light recruitment because he was a former teammate of Hog freshman offensive lineman Luke Charpentier.
New Berlin (NY) Milford Academy wide receiver Marquel Wade looked all set to go at Arkansas last summer but it was later discovered his core courses were not in order, which is the reason he had to go to prep school. Wade is currently a 4-star recruit and the 4 rated prep school prospect in the entire country by Rivals.com. In high school, he chose the Hogs over Illinois, Indiana, Miami, North Carolina, South Carolina and others.
Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Robert Thomas should make an immediate impact at Arkansas in his second time to sign with the university. In 2009, Thomas signed with Arkansas over a previous commitment to Kansas State. He was then rated the No. 19 prospect in Oklahoma out of Muskogee High School.
Another, Nowata (Okla.) two-way lineman Austin Beck, 6-8, 285, is still awaiting clearance but also hopes to enroll. University policy gives him until Friday to enroll. He committed to the Hogs over Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and others.