Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. This time, we discuss coach Bret Bielema’s thoughts on a potential new gun law, a new offer for a major 2019 target with a familiar name and more.
Bielema sees potential recruiting impacts of Arkansas gun law
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema makes player safety paramount within his program. It’s part of his sales pitch to families while on the recruiting trail.
Recently, bill HB1249 was signed into law by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. The bill allows those with a concealed carry license and the requisite training to bring guns into such venues as Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Bielema spoke with reporters on Monday for the first time since Hutchinson signed the bill. His concerns, primarily, related to player safety.
“My only thing that jumps out right away was concern with how it was going to be handled,” Bielema said. “They didn’t call me on the voting, I know that, and I try not to comment too much on things. But I’m ultimately going to go to a kid in recruiting from around this country, and in (Hjalte Froholdt‘s) case from around the world, and when I say to a parent, ‘I take your son’s safety to the highest degree in my heart,’ I don’t ever want to put that in jeopardy. I knew that was going to be a question.”
A day after Hutchinson signed the bill, Arkansas senators drafted and passed an exemption. The exemption — which still must pass through the Arkansas House of Representatives and then be signed by Hutchinson — would remove athletic venues from having to allow concealed weapons to patrons.
“I think in today’s world everybody comments,” Bielema said, “but it sounds like there are going to be a couple different options come up, so I’ll just lay quiet until we get the rule and go about it from there.”
Hogs to place Richardson on immediate scholarship after Pagano cancels
Leading up to National Signing Day last month, Bielema mentioned on a few occasions the Razorbacks’ desire to leave a scholarship open in the 2017 class for a potential graduate transfer this spring or summer.
The Hogs did just that by signing 24 players in the class, opening the door for one late addition. It became obvious Clemson graduate transfer Scott Pagano, a highly sought defensive tackle, was the desired target for the spot. Pagano announced Arkansas as one of his final choices last month and planned a visit for April.
However, Pagano canceled the visit on Monday, according to multiple reports. Hours after that news broke, reports surfaced that 2017 outside linebacker Gabe Richardson would be placed on scholarship immediately upon his arrival in Fayetteville. Richardson was previously set to arrive as a blueshirt, meaning his scholarship was guaranteed but would be delayed.
Henry lands second major offer
Few programs can make as good of an argument to be labeled “Tight End U” as Arkansas. One of the few is Stanford, and the Cardinal are hoping to contend with the Hogs for possibly one of the Natural State’s best tight end prospects in years.
Hudson Henry, a highly regarded 2019 prospect from Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, garnered a Stanford offer last weekend. The Razorbacks were Henry’s first offer in mid-February.
Arkansas is still widely considered the favorite for Henry. He is the younger brother of former Hog standout tight end Hunter Henry and 2017 outside linebacker Hayden Henry, who is set to arrive at Arkansas as a blueshirt. The Henry’s dad, Mark, was a four-year letter winner (1988-91) and team captain as a senior.
Sources who have seen the bothers play throughout their high school careers believe Hudson will be the best of the bunch.
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