Chad Morris has officially been the football coach at Arkansas for 10 days. He’s had only one focus throughout that time — recruiting.
With the first-ever early signing period rapidly approaching Dec. 20, Morris and the four staff members he’s hired have worked fast to put together the 2018 class. In fact, Morris’ travel schedule has been so busy he hasn’t even had time to evaluate his current roster.
“With this early signing period, which has been absolutely crazy, I hadn’t had a chance to do anything but drink a lot of Red Bull and try to stay on the run as much as I can,” Morris said Friday on The Paul Finebaum Show.
Morris was somewhat critical of the early signing period, which was put into place last spring. He admits at the time he and many other coaches across the country were in agreement that the change was a good idea.
The impact of coaching changes and the high school academic calendar are now key points of contention toward the early signing period.
“You go into these schools and a lot of these kids right now are in final exams,” Morris said. “How many times are these kids being pulled out of class right here in a key time for them? It’s been very difficult. I didn’t see it in this scope, but it has been very challenging.”
Morris has been known for his ability to land recruits based on long-standing relationships he builds. That is not a luxury he has now with most of the 2018 prospects he’s pursuing for the Razorbacks.
“You’re trying to get into people’s living rooms, you’re trying to get into schools with the guys that are committed to hang on to the commits,” Morris said. “You’re trying to build one- or two-year relationships in about 10 minutes and that’s impossible.”
Arkansas has 11 commitments in the 2018 class. Three of those have pledged since Morris took the job. At this point, most of them are expected to sign with the Hogs next Wednesday. Morris expects early signees to make up about half of his 2018 class.