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Friday, July 26, 2013
Staff sways OT Eluemunor to Arkansas

By Josh Moyer

Junior college OT Jermaine Eluemunor (Rockaway, N.J./Lackawanna College) is now planning to be an Arkansas Razorback.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound prospect decommitted from UCLA on Wednesday and committed to Arkansas on Friday. He said his visit to the school last week sealed it for him, and his decision Friday was widely considered to be between Arkansas and Ohio State.

"I'm not going to Arkansas for Arkansas," he said. "I'm going to Arkansas to play for Coach [Bret] Bielema and Coach [Sam] Pittman. People can say whatever they want, really, but that's why I'm going there. I don't care what people say, because I love the coaches."

Eluemunor is the 13th commit and second offensive lineman of Arkansas' class. He's among the most coveted junior college prospects in the country and is now arguably the headliner of Arkansas' group.

"You know, people say if you feel good then you play good," Eluemunor said. "And that's the case with me. I felt really good down in Arkansas. I went to Ohio State, and it was cool down there. And I went to UCLA, and it was cool down there, too.

"I thank those two schools for recruiting me, but I felt really good at Arkansas. And that's where I want to play."

Eluemunor also mentioned the environment, players and fans as reasons for his commitment but again reiterated that the staff played the biggest role. He boasted more than 20 offers -- from the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Wisconsin -- but ultimately went with the SEC West team.

The junior college player grew up in London, England, but emigrated to New Jersey in 2009 with a limited understanding of football. He didn't become a regular starter until his senior season and received no offers in high school, even from the likes of Div. II schools.

At Lackawanna College, the coaches didn't expect him to become a first-year starter there, either. But, after a flurry of injuries, Eluemunor got his chance and made the most of it -- showing raw potential and uncharacteristic speed for a player his size. The offers started coming in last November and never stopped.

"I think it's important that everybody realizes that he was more of a surprise than anybody could realize," Lackawanna coach Mark Duda said in a past interview.