Good news, Arkansas: Chad Morris may take Texas by storm, by force
Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.
Arkansas is the heel; other states are rest of foot
By golly, Chad Morris is already making his recruiting mark with the Arkansas football team. At least, that’s the narrative.
Morris landed an in-state commitment from 3-star cornerback LaDarrius Bishop late Sunday night. He landed two commits from Texas earlier in the weekend, too. It fits with what he said his goal was recruiting-wise.
The new Arkansas coach wants to put his foot down in the Natural State. This is home base for him. The idea is to put a fence around the state and keep the best as Razorbacks. After that, the foot extends out to the surrounding states (as to how a foot can go more than one direction at once, I’m not sure, but it’s a metaphor, roll with it). Such a tactic, in theory, is a winning one, too.
Three states produce an overwhelming chunk of college football players: California, Florida and Texas. Texas being right next door to Arkansas, the Hogs need to make inroads there to be competitive with some of the powerhouse schools. Louisiana is one of those next-tier states, like an Ohio or a Georgia or Pennsylvania. It, too, shares a border. Memphis, in Tennessee, is a stone’s throw from the Natural State. Poach from there. Even up in Kansas City and St. Louis, Arkansas can, or should, make at least a mark.
The returns are early, but so far they are positive.
Stealing commits is what Arkansas needs to do
Look, it isn’t a crime. Coaches are more than welcome, actually, to continue recruiting players once that player commits to another school. Sweeten the pot. Get them to flip.
That’s how Arkansas can turn its ship around quickly. Morris collecting players from in-state and bringing SMU commits isn’t going to return the Razorbacks to powerhouse status. Not that alone, anyway. But doing things like what may happen with Joshua Moore, however, is a different story.
The 4-star wideout de-committed from Nebraska recently. Now, he’s opening his mind to Arkansas. The appeal of playing in Morris’ wide-open offense is almost certainly a draw.
And that’s what Arkansas will have to continue to do. Flip players. Until the Hogs become nationally relevant again, Morris and company have to vulture where they can.
This man will help Arkansas in Texas
The man who was named interim coach at SMU when Morris left is now reportedly on his way to join Morris at Arkansas.
Traylor did not, apparently, receive the full-time head coaching gig with the Mustangs. Morris had left a spot open for him, it appears. That gives the Razorbacks a — get this — experienced special teams coach, if Traylor ends up doing that. Special teams have been, if you haven’t been watching the last four years, brutal at Arkansas.
- Arkansas center Frank Ragnow was named to two different All-America teams Monday. Impressive considering Ragnow missed the last fourth of the season with an ankle injury. He is, for my money, the best offensive lineman the Razorbacks have had this century.
- Speaking of honors, Hogs freshman basketball player Daniel Gafford was named SEC Freshman of the Week after his performances against Colorado State and Minnesota.
- Eight of Arkansas football’s nine assistant coaches were officially terminated. WholeHogSports has the specifics on them if you’re into sadism.
- Barry Lunney Jr., who coached tight ends under Bret Bielema, has remained on the staff.
- Two men with Razorbacks connections will be inaugurated into the first-ever Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame class.
Tweets and the like
• Former Clemson and current NFL wideout Sammy Watkins sings the praises of Morris:
“Coach Morris is an amazing coach and I enjoyed working with him while I was at Clemson. He had a big impact on me personally in addition to my career. I’m confident he’ll do the same for the players at Arkansas and I wish him all the best.”
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) December 11, 2017
• They are missing Morris down in Dallas already. This piece has some hurt to it:
“Chad Morris was obsessed with Red Bull, and in the end, that’s exactly what he was. He energized a struggling program but now the buzz has worn off leaving nothing but a shaky feeling in its place.” #PonyUpTempo https://t.co/MHMZ8sJwky
— Greg Gaylor (@SMUMustangAlum) December 11, 2017
• This. Is. The. Greatest. Hype. Video. Ever:
I guess I could've just given you the youtube:https://t.co/lMk16Snbgn
— Paul Swinebaum (@AugustusThe3rd) December 11, 2017
• This has to be priority No. 1 for Morris when it comes to the Class of 2018. Arkansas wants to keep the best player in the state. Treylon Burks is a 5-star recruit. Look at these stats:
Warren junior WR Treylon Burks stats for 2017, per @bo_hembree
Passing: 7-20, 135 yards
Rushing: 114-936-27 TDs
KO Ret-1 TD
Punt ret- 3 TDs
2 pass breakups
5 INT, 3 returned for TDs
1 forced fumble#arpreps
— Jeremy Muck (@JeremyMuckADG) December 11, 2017
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.