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Utah lineman recruited by UA comes from family brimming with football talent

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Photographs by Jason Ivester

Arkansas offensive line coach Kurt Anderson watches warmups during practice Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Fayetteville.

Offensive lineman Penei Sewell, who is being recruited by Arkansas, comes from a family loaded with football talent and he credits his older brothers for much of his success.

Gabriel Sewell Jr. plays at linebacker at Nevada, while Nephi is a freshman defensive back for the Wolfpack.

"It all started with my older brother Gabriel," Penei Sewell said. "He set a big platform for me and my brothers, and then after him my other older brother Nephi, he set it bigger. Then when it came to me, I just had the best opportunity. Shoutout to them for helping make it happen for me. The only reason I'm here today is because of them.

Sewell, 6-4, 320 pounds, of St. George (Utah) Desert Hills, was one of the standouts during the three days at The Opening event at Nike Headquarters on July 1-3. ESPN rates him the No. 7 offensive guard and No. 148 overall prospect in the nation.

His younger brother Noah also attends Desert Hills and is a sophomore linebacker with several scholarship offers.

Penei admits he and his brothers often did what boys do and played rough in the house while also bonding.

"All that roughhousing," Sewell said. "It was kind of creating-a-bond fighting. Kind of gets you closer, I guess. I don't know if that makes sense. Tough love."

He said the fighting and wrestling tested his parents.

"They we're like, 'Why not get along?' " Sewell said.

Sewell, who visited the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in May and is considering the Hogs for an official visit in the fall, said he enjoys being from a close-knit family.

"Oh yeah, we're all so close over the years. We're brothers," Sewell said. "We all just have fun with each other. There's no bond stronger than brotherhood."

A family atmosphere will also play a big role in where he attends college, he said.

"I want to see the players and see if I can fit in with them and feel at home," he said.

Ready to decide

Ashdown cornerback LaDarrius Bishop, 6-0, 190, is expected to announce his college decision Saturday at 2 p.m.

He released his top five of Arkansas, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Memphis on June 8, but now will decide between the Razorbacks, Bulldogs and Cowboys.

Bishop, who recorded a time of 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Mississippi State camp in June, is the cousin of Arkansas signee and former Ashdown safety Montaric Brown.

Another Beck

Arkansas women's basketball coach Mike Neighbors was the first to extend a scholarship offer to sophomore guard Coriah Beck of Fayetteville on Thursday.

Beck, 5-9, is the daughter of former Arkansas guard Corey Beck, who helped lead the Hogs to the 1994 men's national championship. She averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals per game for Fayetteville's freshman team last season.

Change of plans

Arkansas football target Maureese Wren was planning to visit Fayetteville today, but will instead make the trip July 24.

The Hogs extended a scholarship offer to him June 19. He could play outside linebacker or safety for the Razorbacks.

Wren, 6-4, 216, of Mesquite (Texas) Horn, has 19 other scholarship offers, including ones from Missouri, Baylor, Colorado, Washington and Utah. He's good friends with Razorbacks defensive back Tanner McCalister, who played at Rockwall (Texas) Rockwall-Heath High School.

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell is Wren's lead recruiter at Arkansas.

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 07/14/2017

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