Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss the possible immediate impact of the 2018 class, a new offer and Chad Morris’ stance on star ratings.
Arkansas’ 2018 class coming to make teammates uncomfortable
Arkansas signed 17 players in its 2018 recruiting class. The expectation, according to coach Chad Morris, is that several of them will turn from signees to on-field contributors quickly. At the very least, they are expected to make some returning players question the security of their role on the team.
“We signed [nine] guys [in February] that are going to make a contribution to this football program added to the eight in December, and those  guys are going to come in and they’re going to make people uncomfortable,” Morris said. “They’re going to push people that maybe have gotten comfortable on this roster. When you get that, you’ve created some competition.”
Some of the 2018 signees are already making such an impact. Wide receiver Mike Woods enrolled in January, and Morris says he’s likely to be on the field this fall. Bumper Pool, who is also an early enrollee, is also putting himself in the mix to play right away.
Even with an influx of players Morris is excited about, the Hogs almost certainly won’t play as many newcomers as last season. In 2017, 14 of the 26 scholarship players from the previous recruiting class played right away to varying degrees. Seven of them played in every game when healthy. Five of them — Ty Clary, Kamren Curl, Brandon Martin, Jonathan Nance and Jeremy Patton — had at least one start.
New RB offer Sampson James considering Arkansas visit
Arkansas is among the latest schools to offer 2019 running back Sampson James.
James (6-foot-1, 205) is a 4-star prospect and the No. 8 running back recruit in his class, according to the 247Sports composite. He attends Avon (Ind.) High School in the suburbs of Indianapolis. As a junior last season, he rushed for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns.
He is considering taking a visit to Arkansas, according to a recent report from Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt.
“[Arkansas] had been in contact for a couple weeks, but I was definitely surprised when [the offer] happened,” James said. “I knew that they always had great running backs there. I might go down there and check them out just because I have never been down there.”
James also has offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and several other Power 5 schools.
Chad Morris not a fan of recruiting star system
Star ratings, offer lists, team rankings — these are the things that make recruiting coverage what it is for the fans. For the coaches, not so much.
Morris is among a (presumably long) list of coaches who insists he pays no attention to such things. Morris recently said star ratings and offer lists have “absolutely zero” impact on how he approaches the recruitment of a player.
“As far as this guy has this many stars and this team has that many stars, I could talk all afternoon about that,” Morris said. “I just want football players.”
Morris also isn’t interested in beseeching recruits to come play for him. He implied there can sometimes be a level of pleading that comes with getting highly-rated recruits that he simply isn’t interesting in doing.
“When you peel it back and they’re excited to be about the Razorbacks and about the state of Arkansas, that’s what excites me,” Morris said. “If I’ve got to beg you to come here, then I’m going to have to beg you to play and nobody is going to last then.”
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