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December 16, 2013

Hollister is a Hog





Arkansas lost a wide receiver commitment Friday afternoon but gained another on Monday.

Yuma (Ariz.) Arizona Western C.C. wide receiver Cody Hollister gave a verbal pledge to the Hogs after talking his family back home in Oregon, just three days after Jared Cornelius flipped from Arkansas to TCU. Hollister is Arkansas' 17th commitment for the Class of 2015.

The big receiver said there were a number of reasons behind his decision.

"The people, in general," he said. "I've been asking people what they like about the town and they all say the people are just generally nice and inviting.

"Obviously the fan base is amazing. It's something I've never experienced, so the fan base, the overall feel of the town, and the football program (are why I chose Arkansas)."

Hollister, 6-4, 205, 4.5, is a midyear graduate who plans to enroll at Arkansas in January. He chose the Razorbacks over offers from Troy and Wyoming, and he believes there's an opportunity for early playing time with the Hogs in 2014.

"They talked to me about having the opportunity, and that's all I need," Hollister said. "I just need the opportunity to come in and play, and I feel like if I have that then I'll come in and take advantage of it."

The Bend (Ore.) native began his collegiate career by walking on at the University of Nevada in 2012. He redshirted as a true freshman and then transferred to Arizona Western, where he recorded 69 catches for 939 yards and 5 touchdowns this past season.

Hollister, who is rated as the No. 8 wide receiver in the JUCO ranks according to Rivals.com, will have three years to play three at the University of Arkansas. He said being hosted by Arkansas offensive lineman Dan Skipper and Thursday's trip to Fayetteville's legendary Catfish Hole were also standout moments during the visit.

"(Skipper) is real cool," Hollister said. "He's 19, one year younger than me, but he's a pretty chill dude. He's just one of the guys and makes you feel like one of the guys, too.

"(The Catfish Hole) was awesome, the environment especially," Hollister said. "The food was great too, the steak, my first time trying catfish, which was interesting. The people were awesome and really inviting, so it was awesome. It was cool.

Hollister's teammate, tight end Blake Whiteley, was also in Fayetteville for an official visit this past weekend. The 6-4, 250-pounder has offers from the Razorbacks, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Purdue, Colorado State, TCU, Southern Miss, UTEP and others.

Whiteley will head to Austin (Texas) for an official visit with the Longhorns once he's completed his visit in Fayetteville.

"We both have the same view on it. We haven't really gone in-depth about it, because he's obviously going to take a visit to Texas later," Hollister said of Whiteley's take on Arkansas. "He'll take everything into perspective once he's through with it all, but we've really enjoyed it."

Here's a Commitment Analysis on Hollister:

THE COMMITMENT

Really wasn't a huge surprise. Hollister told HawgSports.com on Sunday there was a very good chance he'd pull the trigger as long as everything went well. He went public with his decision after talking to his family back home in Oregon.

Hollister's name came out of nowhere in the first week of December when Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema visited his school and extended the offer. The receiver visited Troy during the season and also picked up late interest from California and others, but Arkansas, frankly, was the biggest offer on the table and he took it.

The Razorbacks will now hope Hollister's commitment plays a factor with Whiteley. Hollister said earlier in the week that he and Whiteley have had talks about playing for Arkansas together.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE CLASS

The Hogs have two other wide receiver commits in Corey McBride and Torrance Mosley of Geismar (La.) Dutchtown.

Hollister's time at Nevada and in the JUCO ranks should add a nice dose of experience but he also gives the class a nice boost of size at the position. McBride is a slender 6-2, 180, and Mosley is in the 5-10, 165-pound range, meaning Hollister will easily be the biggest of the bunch at 6-4, 205.

Arkansas is still in the mix for other wide receivers, like Adonis Jennings, Kameron Uter, Kendrick Edwards, Frank Iheanacho (who wrapped up his official with the Razorbacks on Friday), and others.

Look for the Hogs to try and land one more to complete the haul.

FILM STUDY

Hollister is a possession receiver. He's not going to wow anyone with his speed, but he does a great job of using his body to attack the ball and come down with it. What really stands out on film is his body control and ability to make the tough catch.

Physically, Hollister has a frame that could really benefit from having approximately seven months with Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Herbert this offseason.


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