Texas freshman LB already getting consideration in Fayetteville

The thirteenth in a collection that includes newcomers to the College of Arkansas soccer crew.

Throughout the recruiting course of, College of Arkansas freshman linebacker Jordan Criminal received a style of the Razorback fan base, however since he enrolled in January the style has grown.

“I used to be simply stunned by the individuals right here,” stated Criminal in an early July. “The individuals outdoors of this system it is a deep tradition, and I actually did not know all about it. I heard about it, however I truly noticed it for myself once I got here out right here so far as the followers and issues like that. “

Criminal, 6-0, 225 kilos, of Duncanville, Texas, amassed scholarship affords from Michigan, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Baylor, Nebraska, Southern Cal, Texas Tech, Colorado, Illinois and others earlier than committing to Arkansas in July 2021.

Consuming out in Fayetteville has been an expertise for Criminal.

“Individuals will simply come as much as you and wish to take photos,” he stated. “They know your title. That is all the time fairly cool. It is simply form of stunned me.”

A consensus 3-star prospect, Criminal was named the No. 9 participant within the Dallas Morning Information’ high 50 space recruits for the Class of 2022. Whereas he appreciates the fan base, his focus is the soccer subject.

“I am simply right here to play, however when stuff like that occurs, it is all the time cool,” Criminal stated. “It is one thing I labored for, however I actually have not accomplished a lot but. I maintain a stage head in relation to that kind of stuff.”

As a senior, Criminal recorded 98 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 cross break-ups, 3 compelled fumbles and three interceptions with 2 returned for scores whereas main the Panthers to the Class 6A Division 1 championship title sport.

He had 93 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 6 sacks and three interceptions whereas returning 2 for touchdowns as a junior.

Duncanville offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Gabriel Samuels stated Criminal has a nostril for the ball.

“He can see the sector and perceive what play goes to occur beneath two seconds,” Samuels stated. “He is so quick and explosive he can get from sideline to sideline and make a play whether or not he is in entrance of it or whether or not he is coming from behind. He will discover a strategy to the ball.”

Crooked performed his sophomore season at Dallas Bishop Dunne earlier than transferring to Duncanville for the second semester in January.

Quickly after arriving on campus, Samuels stated Criminal bugged him for 2 weeks about getting a Hudl account. Hudl helps coaches and gamers put together with quite a few options, together with video. Gamers typically obtain their highlights so faculty coaches can consider their movie.

Samuels thought Criminal needed to make use of Hudl to advertise himself however that wasn’t the case. He needed to review the Panthers’ protection so he might get a head begin for spring apply.

“That all the time caught with me as a result of right now’s society children solely concentrate on themselves and no matter works for them proper now,” Samuels stated. “In January and February, they’re undoubtedly not eager about studying performs. That all the time weighs closely on my thoughts. That from a 16-year previous.”

Criminal reported to Fayetteville weighing 225 kilos and has stayed at that weight however has redefined his physique.

“I am at 225 proper now however the distinction is my physique has modified,” Criminal stated. “I am extra lean and I am just a little bit extra toned up, just a little bit extra muscular. Some even say I look smaller than I used to be in highschool just because I’ve modified my physique and my consuming habits.”

He credit director of power and conditioning Jamil Walker and his employees for pushing him and his teammates.

“Love this facet of soccer as a result of outdoors of soccer that is the place we spend essentially the most time,” Criminal stated. “I actually really feel like they imply one of the best for us and assist us out so much. All we’ve got to do is are available right here and simply work and reap the advantages They push us like no different, however on the finish of the day you need to need it for your self, and I really feel like I come right here on a regular basis on my thoughts that I will assault the day and win the day.”

The ultra-competitive Criminal is not glad with something aside from successful.

“Me personally, I hate shedding,” he stated. “That is what retains me stepping into these exercises. I simply know my purpose.”

Criminal stated he has leaned on junior Drew Sanders and fifth-year senior Bumper Pool since arriving on campus. He and Pool, who was an All-SEC linebacker final yr, have hit it off.

“I really feel like we’ve got a connection,” Criminal stated. “We’re each from Dallas. We all the time snigger and joke about that kind of stuff. That is actually the one individual I look as much as. I take items from him and work off of that and be one of the best I could be. I actually take in what I can and be taught from him as a result of on the finish of the day he is been right here and accomplished this for a couple of years. That is what I am making an attempt to do.”

Criminal says he feels good about the place he stands heading into fall apply.

“I really feel like I’ve showcased what I can do towards different individuals on the crew,” Criminal stated. “I’ve showcased I can play with the highest dudes, and I really feel like that can assist me out going into the autumn. I have been operating with the [second team] currently and form of working my approach into the rotation. I am solely making an attempt to go up from there.”

So far as life off the sector, Samuels credit Criminal’s dad and mom, Joe and Wuan, for elevating a younger man that coaches haven’t got to fret about moving into bother.

“He is all the time going to do proper,” Samuels stated. “I equal that to his upbringing.”

Criminal at a look

HEIGHT/WEIGHT 6-0, 225 kilos

HOMETOWN Duncanville, Texas

HIGH SCHOOL Duncanville

BIRTHATE Oct. 31, 2003 (18 years previous)

NOTEWORTHY Highschool crew captain. … Had 3.4 grade-point common in highschool and is contemplating a serious in enterprise advertising and marketing. … Former Oklahoma State dedication. … A consensus 3-star prospect and ESPN’s No. 35 inside linebackers within the nation.

photo Jordan Criminal
photo Arkansas freshman linebacker Jordan Criminal, seen right here throughout a March apply, weighs the identical 225 kilos he did when he reported to Fayetteville however stated he has turn into extra toned and lean. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)