Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss a potential earlier signing period, an upgraded rating for a commit and some weekend visitors.
Arkansas assistants discuss earlier signing period
The NCAA Division I Council voted, and passed, a proposal Friday allowing the possibility for an earlier signing period.
Now, the Conference Commissioners Association will have the final say in June to approve a new December window for recruits to sign. The signing window would be in addition to the current traditional dates in early February.
So with the topic fresh on the minds of many, SEC Country asked a few Arkansas assistant coaches how they felt about the potential change.
Here’s what they had to say:
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos
“I’m all for it as a coach. I think (the) early signing period is something that I feel strongly about and I think a lot of coaches do.”
Linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves
“You know what, whatever they tell us to do, I’m going to do it. I think certainly it’ll change a lot of stuff. It’s going to make summer a little bit more important because guys aren’t going to be able to go and visit and do all those types of things.
“I guess if we can get them in and get them done, at least you know who you’re going after for February. So, I guess it could be a good thing.
“If you already know what you’re doing … and really, truly, a lot of the guys that know what they want to do, they don’t get worried about it anyways because in their mind they’ve already made their decision. If it gets that late, and they still don’t know, then it is what it is. But if they know what it is at that point, and they can get it over with and concentrate on what they’re doing, I think it makes sense.”
Offensive line coach Kurt Anderson
“I think, obviously, with any rule change in the NCAA, there’s pros and cons to all of it. I think that the one thing about college football is we’re always able to adapt to those. It would change the recruiting calendar for us in terms of how you go about recruiting.
“There’s some really positive things in terms of being able to maybe focus and hone in on the specific guys that maybe did not sign at that period so that you can really kind of put full force onto those guys that you’re trying to get. Whereas, the way it is right now, you’ve got to recruit even the guys that are committed all the way until the end because of how vicious and cutthroat the recruiting process is across the country. In that regard, it would be fantastic.
“But, in my opinion, it wouldn’t necessarily change all that much (for recruits). I think you might be signing guys that would be committed. But, at the same time, I don’t think it would press the kids to commit early or sign early. You might actually find guys waiting to hold a commitment until after that period just so they have options. So, it could almost have a reverse effect of what people are looking for. The good thing is the guys that are sure, it would help them in terms of ending the process.
“Having gone through it myself, you’re trying to spend time with family before you’re heading off to college and be away from your family for the first time and you’re fielding phone calls over and over again. People are calling your house, calling your cellphone. Well, I didn’t have a cellphone back then, but they were calling the house. I’m sure for those kids, with the social media aspect and everything, I’m sure it would be a great relief.”
TE commit Luke Ford now a 4-star recruit
Arkansas tight end commit Luke Ford has been upgraded to a 4-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite ratings.
Ford (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) is 4-star prospect by 247Sports and Scout, and a 3-star recruit by Rivals. The composite rating takes all of those, and ESPN.com, which has Ford unrated, into account.
The Carterville (Ill.) recruit committed to Arkansas in March. He also has offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and others.
All 4 of Arkansas’ 2018 commits are now 4-star rated. Cornerback Byron Hanspard II, quarterback Connor Noland and linebacker Bumper Pool are the other commits. The Hogs’ class is currently No. 23 nationally and No. 5 in the SEC.
Robinson group to visit this weekend
Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, Ark., has emerged as one of the most talent-rich football schools in the state.
This weekend, some of Robinson’s top prospects will be making the trip to Fayetteville as the Hogs hold their spring scrimmage inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Arkansas 2017 signees Koilan Jackson and David Porter will be joined by former teammates Nathan Page (2018 WR/DB) and Elliott Harris Jr. (2019 DL/OL). Hunter Swoboda, a 2018 tight end, may also make the trip.
Page has offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Monroe. Air Force and Army have both offered Swoboda. Harris does not have a FBS offer to this point but has received interest from several Power 5 schools. All three are receiving considerable interest from the Razorbacks.
Sophomore slot receiver/running back T.J. Hammonds signed with Arkansas out of Robinson in the 2016 class.
RB signee Chase Hayden explains why he stuck with Hogs
Arkansas 2017 running back signee Chase Hayden spoke with SEC Country’s Jason Kersey on Thursday about a variety of topics regarding his recruitment.
Among them, what happened when Hayden canceled a visit to Michigan last October. At the time, several outlets incorrectly reported Hayden was no longer committed to Arkansas as a result of planning to visit the Wolverines.
Hogs coach Bret Bielema typically has a policy with committed recruits not allowing them to visit other schools if they want to be considered committed.
“Michigan would DM me or call me up probably about once a month,” Hayden told Kersey. “I was gonna take a visit. But when it came down to it, I just thought about all that Arkansas had done for me and how they made me a priority, and how when I went up there I fell in love with it.
“I wasn’t really willing to risk that just to go on a Michigan visit, especially when I felt like Michigan was just trying to fill a spot rather than making me a priority.”
Click here to read more from Kersey’s interview with Hayden.
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