Arkansas' top prospect has been busy fielding calls and mapping out a plan for his official visits this fall.
Four-star Conway (Ark.) fullback Peyton Hillis, the nation’s No. 2 player at his position, said he’s enjoyed the early days of the new contact period.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “Oklahoma, Nebraska, Tennessee, Arkansas, UCLA, Central Florida and Alabama have all called. I got to talk to coach Solich from Nebraska. That was pretty nice to talk to their head coach.”
Hillis (6-2, 245, 4.7) has dozens of scholarship offers, but has narrowed his choices down to six lucky schools.
“I don’t have a favorite right now, but I know the five I want to visit and another one I’m looking at pretty close,” he said. “I’m going to visit Tennessee, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama. UCLA is also still in the picture. I’m going to go on an official visit to Oklahoma on Sept. 20 to see them play UCLA, so that’s a good deal for me. I’ll get to see two of my schools at the same time.”
Hillis also has some unofficial visits on tap, beginning with Tennessee this weekend as the Volunteers play host to Marshall.
“That’s going to be fun to be in there with 107,000 people up in the stands,” he said. “That’s one of the main things I like about Tennessee. It’s a great program with a lot of tradition and fan support.
“The only hard part is I’m an Arkansas boy, and I’ve always liked their program. People are always telling me, ‘If you don’t go to Arkansas, please don’t go to Tennessee.’ They hate Tennessee around here, and they’d end up hating me, too. I don’t know what that would feel like.”
Hillis hopes to visit Arkansas when the Razorbacks play Florida on Oct. 18. He’s targeting the Colorado game as a possible visit date for Nebraska.
He said he loves the Cornhuskers’ “old-style, smashmouth offense” and the toughness their teams usually display.
Regarding Oklahoma, Hillis said: “They’re the No. 1 team in the nation, and I really love their coaches. Growing up, I never thought I’d have them calling me and wanting me to play for them.”
Alabama made the list due to their offensive style and the emphasis on the fullback position. “It’s a new staff, but I like what I’ve seen from them so far,” he said. “Coach Shula seems like a real good guy to play for.”
Hillis opened his senior season on Monday in a special Labor Day matchup against Cabot. Conway rolled to a 20-0 victory as the big fullback rambled for 150 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
As a junior, he rushed for 1,427 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had 10 receptions for 143 yards and two scores.
Academically, Hillis maintains a 2.8 GPA and has scored a 21 on his ACT.