Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss linebacker signee Bumper Pool and what coach Chad Morris likes about some new signees.
Arkansas signee Bumper Pool got his name from father’s love for … bumper pool
As far as names go, Arkansas signee Bumper Pool has among the most well known in the 2018 recruiting class.
Of course, he is a very talented 4-star middle linebacker with an offer list that included Alabama, LSU, Michigan and Southern Cal. But obviously, his popularity is also in part because he shares a name with a pocket billiards game.
So, how exactly did he get his name?
It all began when his father, Jeff, developed a love for the game of bumper pool. Growing up in Allen, Texas, where the Pools also live now, Jeff would spend almost all his free time playing bumper pool at a friend’s house.
“We played all the time,” Jeff said. “We’d go over there and spend weekends playing. We never stopped. It was just that much fun.”
Jeff recalls that, beginning as a sophomore in high school, he would tell anyone who would listen that if he had a son he was going to name him Bumper Pool. This carried on throughout high school, with no one believing he was really going to do it.
“It’s funny, there was a girl I went to high school with who I hadn’t seen in forever and she had a daughter that was about four years older than Bumper,” Jeff said. “He was in elementary school and they used to have this deal where the older kids would go and read to the elementary school kids. Her daughter came home one day and said, ‘Mom, you’re never going to guess this. I met a kid named Bumper Pool.’ She said, ‘I almost dropped the bowl I was holding.’ She couldn’t believe I did it.”
The name did come with some concessions in the beginning. Bumper’s middle name is James Morris, after his paternal grandfather. If addressing him as Bumper ever seemed like it wasn’t going well, his parents could always have him go by James Morris.
It never became an issue, however. Almost from birth, his family has agreed Bumper fits him very well. He’s always liked it, and never was teased about his name growing up.
“As a mom, I wanted a good, strong business name, as well, so we got James Morris in there,” mom Laurie says. “I thought Jeff was crazy, but from the beginning the name has fit him. Bumper just fits who he is, and he loves it.”
More than 65 percent have signed in early period
The first early signing period in college football is comes to a close Friday. During the 72-hour window, more than 65 percent of the entire class has officially signed, according to 247Sports. That includes roughly 80 percent of the recruits who entered the signing period committed.
Arkansas had signed seven players through Thursday with the strong possibility for another Friday. With eight signees, the Hogs are expected to possibly double that in February during the traditional signing period. They’ll have just under 35 percent of the top prospects in the class to potentially go after.
The Razorbacks were mostly on par with the rest of country in commits signing during the early period. Three of their commits remain unsigned, so 70 percent are officially secured. That’s just 10 percent less than the national average, which is promising considering the recent coaching change and subsequent scramble to put a class together.
Former TE commit Luke Ford signs with Georgia
Former Arkansas tight end commit Luke Ford will be playing elsewhere in the SEC.
Ford, who was committed to Arkansas for three months last spring, signed with Georgia on Thursday. The No. 2 tight end and No. 49 overall recruit in the class, Ford joins what is currently the No. 1 class nationally. Remarkably, the Bulldogs have eight other signees rated higher than him.
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