Dowell Loggins key to Shamar Easter's decision
Shamar Easter became the first commitment in the Razorbacks' 2023 recruiting haul on Friday, capping a short-but-riveting recruitment for Arkansas' top-ranked junior recruit. Easter is an uber-athletic three-sport athlete that's sure to make a dent in the Razorbacks' passing attack under offensive play-caller Kendal Briles.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder explored Clemson, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Memphis and Arkansas -- on multiple occasions. He found himself naturally gravitating toward the in-state school largely because of the addition of first-year tight ends coach Dowell Loggains.
"Coach Loggains was a huge reason why," Ashdown (Ark.) High School Football Coach Matt Richardson told Rivals of Easter's decision on Friday.
Loggains joined Pittman's staff this offseason and instantly hit it off with Easter, the top in-state priority for the Razorbacks in the 2023 cycle who, coincidentally, plays tight end. Easter was instantly drawn in by Loggain's deep NFL ties, which include a decade-plus worth of experience on various coaching staffs.
"He's an NFL guy, and there's a great chance he could be the next head of Arkansas one day -- but hopefully, not for a long time," Richardson laughed. "Coach Pittman is awesome and Dowell has tons of NFL connections. Him and Shamar hit it off. He loves Shamar and he's the tight ends coach and he could be a great NFL connection for him one day."
More than just seasoned with the ins and outs of professional football, Loggains is a man rooted in his faith -- much like Richardson and his star tight end at Ashdown High. While national powers like Alabama, Clemson and Tennessee all made strong efforts to reel in Easter, the attention to faith and family gave Loggains and ultimately the Razorbacks a unique edge.
"Dowell's family was the difference," Richardson explained. "His wife and kids really connected with Shamar and they talked about God with him. He really feels like it's a true family atmosphere over there. We talked about how as long as Coach Loggains is there, the NFL is very attainable and he'll be around people that truthfully care for him."
Easter debuted as a Rivals100 tight end and the top player from the Natural State in the Class of 2023. Unsurprisingly, he was an early priority for Pittman's staff at Arkansas.
Securing the commitment when he did speaks volumes, the coach said.
"He had to be their No. 1 priority for the 2023 class as a top-100 player in the country, No. 1 in the state. You have to have him," Richardson said. "It was a lot of help for Arkansas having Montaric Brown and LaDarrius Bishop, our kids from Ashdown, to help recruit him to Arkansas also."