Holding Firm

D'Arthur Cowan

D'Arthur Cowan has his mind made up. He's committed to Arkansas, and his commitment is solid. In his mind, the recruitment process is over.

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But he's still being pursued by other schools. Ole Miss and Mississippi State, for instance, haven't given up on Cowan, an in-state prospect who starred at Olive Branch as a wide receiver last season.

"Pretty good, you know? Sticking with Arkansas, the school I'm committed to right now," Cowan said Friday of his recruitment. "Same schools still trying to get at me, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. North Carolina, too. But I told them there's no need to call, ‘cause I'm 100 percent with Arkansas."

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Cowan, rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com and a Dandy Dozen selection by the (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger, committed to Arkansas in July. Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino's wide-open offense appealed to Cowan, who helped lead Olive Branch to the 6A state championship game in his final decision.

"It's just a great school, even if I wasn't going there to play football," Cowan said of Arkansas. "I know I can go there and get a good education for one, and the coaching staff and the offensive system fits for me.

"I wouldn't want to go to a school where I have to block, like at Mississippi State. I know I can go to Arkansas and I have a good chance, coming in my freshman year, of making some plays for them. That's the coaching staff, when they talked to my mother and me, we were the most comfortable with."

But two of his teammates, quarterback/wide receiver Todd Mays and offensive lineman Devin Mondie, have yet to pick a school. Cowan, inevitably, continues to get calls. And letters. And visits from fellow Southeastern Conference head coaches.

"Mississippi State and Ole Miss, those two are talking to me. And the coach at North Carolina now (Larry Fedora), he recruited me at Southern Miss. He offered me," Cowan said.

Houston Nutt was replaced by Hugh Freeze as Ole Miss head coach in December. Freeze has ties to Olive Branch, a town within close proximity to Memphis, Tenn., where Freeze has in-roads from his days as a high school coach at Briarcrest.

Cowan said Ole Miss has kept in contact, but much of the Rebels' sales pitch has focused on his mother. Cowan isn't really interested, anyway.

"I don't think they have a chance," he said. "They're talking to me, but they're trying to get to my mother. They're trying to get in her head, trying to tell her Arkansas is too far away. I don't have a lot of interest in Ole Miss or Mississippi State."

Cowan has but one official visit set up, to Arkansas for the weekend of Jan. 20. Cowan is a member of the recruiting class of 2012, and is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 122 wide receiver in the country.

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