Trent Shadid/SEC Country
It's way too early to assess Arkansas coach Chad Morris' first recruiting class.

Translating Chad Morris’ first National Signing Day presser at Arkansas into reality

Eric Bolin

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.

Notice that no team ever gets a mediocre player to sign for them on National Signing Day? Wonder why that is.

Across the country Wednesday, hordes of college football coaches (and coaches in other sports, too, far less in number) told the gathered media about the class they just landed. Nary a one said a bad word. It’s a day full of positivity.

Even at Arkansas, where the Razorbacks reported the lowest-ranked recruiting class in school history. Or, well, at least since such rankings became en vogue about a decade or two ago.

First-year coach Chad Morris said things similar to predecessor Bret Bielema. Same as Bobby Petrino before that. Same as Houston Nutt before that. And so on. But we’re in the interest of providing a service to the reader here at Breakfast, so we took the time to parse out some of Morris’ comments and apply them to the reality of a team coming off a 4-8 record.

Note: You can find a complete rundown of everything Morris said here.

Morris notes he took over the job 61 days ago and for the past 31 days he’s had his full staff in place and working seven days a week.

  • RESPONSE: I hope so. The life of a college football coach, especially one at an SEC school, receives no breaks. Heck, sportswriters are working seven days a week. Coaches better be when their team was 4-8 last year.

On the class size: “We knew it was going to be a small class, so we had to be very selective with who we went after.”

  • RESPONSE: As opposed to handing out scholarships like Oprah giving away cars?

Adding depth to the defense — particularly the defensive line — was a major focus of the class. The Hogs have signed nine defensive players to this point and four of them are defensive linemen. Morris points out it’s still possible to have another addition or two on the defensive line.

  • RESPONSE: Valid and pertinent. Arkansas’ front line left a lot to be desired last year excluding McTelvin Agim. Newcomers will get an opportunity to make their way into the rotation, especially with a new four-man front, immediately.

Junior college running back signee Rakeem Boyd is coming in to contribute right away, Morris says. With him added to the group, Arkansas is projected to have six scholarship running backs on the roster next season.

  • RESPONSE: Said it before and I’ll say it again — someone is going to have to be the fourth-string guy. It isn’t going to be a healthy Chase Hayden. Morris doesn’t anticipate it being the newcomer Boyd. Probably shouldn’t be the versatile T.J. Hammonds. It’s going to be someone.

Morris says star rating and which programs have offered a recruit have nothing to do with how they approach recruiting.

  • RESPONSE: Every coach in the country said this. It’s half-true. No one at Arkansas is recruiting a 1-star player.

Yes, Arkansas fans, this is a half-serious piece. Enjoy it. Have some fun with it. Hopefully the day treated you right. Just a few more weeks and you can catch spring practice.

You rate the Arkansas recruiting class

The greatest recruiting class in the history of Arkansas football!

The worst recruiting class in the history of Arkansas football!

Somewhere in the middle!

Per usual, the real answer lies there, on the last remark. Judging a recruiting class before any of the players from it have played a down isn’t quite completely pointless. Just somewhat pointless. As our Trent Shadid wrote, judging the Razorbacks by where they are ranked isn’t valid, this year, especially.

We’re going to ask you to do it, anyway, because that’s the hot take readers seek.

Really, none of it matters. Not until a couple years from now and we see what kind of tangible effect this recruiting class has wrought. I mean, I could write that Arkansas had a recruiting class ranked 60 something in the country (depending on which is your favorite service) and the defenders would respond with: “Yeah, well, that’s because it’s a small class!” They wouldn’t be wrong.

Or I could write Arkansas’ class was rather strong, from a talent standpoint better than its ranking, and the ne’er-do-wells would respond: “A buncha 3-stars. Same as before.” Also wouldn’t be wrong.

Sportswriting in 2018 is fun. You choose.

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ICYMI

Tweets and the like

• Arkansas’ own in-house media gave fans a completely subjective view of the day all over Facebook and Razorbacks networks. Great stuff to tingle the giddiness receptors.

• This is something.

• This is also something, although I’m not sure what. Was legit thinking the receiver was going to pull of his or her helmet and we would find Morris underneath. PLOT TWIST! No such luck. Legit, would have been hilarious.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.