FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas basketball coach Stan Heath added two shooters to his team with last year’s recruiting class and has now added another with guard Nate Rakestraw of Springdale Har-Ber High School signing with the Razorbacks.
Wednesday is the first day of the early signing period.
“Nate is a Razorback and we’re excited about having him join our program,” Heath says. “He’s a good all-around player, but in my mind, he’s a shooting specialist.”
The recruiting class for this year included guards Patrick Beverley and Stefan Welsh, and both are expected to see considerable playing time.
Rakestraw, a 6-4, 212-pounder, will fight for playing time next year after averaging 18 points as a junior at Har-Ber and helping his team go 15-14 with a spot in the Class 5A state tournament.
Over the summer, he averaged 27 points playing AAU ball for the Arkansas Hawks. A four-time all-tournament selection, he is a three-star recruit and rated the No. 29 shooting guard in this year’s class by Scout.com.
“I really wanted someone with his ability,” Heath says. “He’s a little under the radar screen, but he had a very impressive summer and he played really well in that league with pros in Little Rock. That really helped him.”
Before going to Har-Ber last year, Rakestraw prepped at Siloam Springs High. As a sophomore, he averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and three steals, and was named the Benton County Daily Record Sophomore of the Year. He was also named to the 4A West All-Conference team.
Rakestraw signed with Arkansas after also considering Tennessee, TCU, Ole Miss, Missouri, Missouri State and Arkansas State, among others.
Arkansas has one other scholarship available, but may or may not sign anyone else this year.