Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss negative recruiting against the Hogs, a commit backing Bret Bielema and a possible kicking addition.
John Scott Jr.: Arkansas commits value relationships over slow start
It’s always easier to flips commits from another school when things aren’t going well. So, with Arkansas off to a 2-5 start this season, the Hogs have been vulnerable to some negative recruiting from competing programs.
Razorbacks defensive line coach John Scott Jr. certainly hears the negative talk. He knows recruiting competitors are beginning to circle around the Hogs’ commits. And he isn’t too concerned about it.
Scott, who primarily recruits in Georgia, stresses building relationships as a primary tool in recruiting. He believes that’s paying off now that things aren’t going as well as planned.
“You stay with the positives,” Scott said. “Whether you’re undefeated or whether you’re having a slower start, you’re going to have to battle some negativity. You don’t act like there’s an elephant in the room. You address it and most of those kids understand where you are. At the end of the day, it comes down to the relationship that you have.
“The kids that we’re on now that are committed to this great university and this great program, it’s about the relationships we’ve established. Those kids believe in us and we believe in them. Those kids know what we have, they know what we are and they know what we can do as a program.”
RB commit Jeremy Gibson backs Bret Bielema, enjoys official visit
Bret Bielema is clearly coaching for his job at Arkansas through the final five games of this season. His supporters within the fan base are dwindling each week.
Bielema still has supporters within the Razorbacks’ 2018 recruiting class, though. Running back pledge Jeremy Gibson is among them.
“Coach Bielema is my coach,” Gibson recently told WholeHogsSports. “I’m behind him no matter what.”
Gibson is a 3-star recruit according to the 247Sports composite. He attends Riverside Academy in Reserve, La. He was on campus last weekend for his official visit and is expected to sign with the Hogs in December.
“It was nice; it was like peaceful,” Gibson told WholeHogSports of the visit. “I feel by going up there I’m going to get away from a lot of stuff and I’ll be in a great environment. It’s like a second home.”
Gibson plans to return for the Hogs’ clash with Missouri on Nov. 24.
Arkansas eying kicker Christopher Elser
Arkansas’ kicking woes have been well-documented over the past few seasons. Cole Hedlund has lost his job as the starting kicker twice during that time. Connor Limpert appears to be a reliable replacement for now, though he did miss an extra point at Alabama earlier this season.
Hedlund, Limpert and freshman Blake Mazza are all expected to be back next season. Still, Arkansas would definitely welcome some more competition at the position.
That could come from Little Rock Christian kicker Christopher Elser, who visited campus last Saturday. Elser, who is left-footed, is the No. 16 kicker and No. 13 kickoff specialist in the 2018 class according to Prokicker.com. He’s hit a field goal from 55 yards this season and is perfect on extra points. He also apparently has the leg to hit a field goal from 60-plus yards (see the video below).
There’s no realistic chance Arkansas spends a scholarship on a kicker in this class. So, Elser would have to join the Hogs as a walk-on, if that’s the route he chooses. He currently has no reported scholarship offers.
— Catholic High School (@rocketalumni) September 28, 2017
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