Arkansas’ 2018 recruiting class is just under four months away from signing the majority of its commitments.
The Razorbacks currently have 12 pledges, with the most recent coming in early August. There’s enough room for two more commitments in the class, though that could change between now and the Dec. 20-22 early signing period.
Each month until that December window, SEC Country will outline the three most important items on the Hogs’ recruiting to-do list for the coming weeks. Here’s how Arkansas fared in August.
Get another LB
The Hogs got this one out of the way quickly. Outside linebacker Maureese Wren committed Aug. 2, picking Arkansas over Colorado and others.
Wren is an ideal fit for the Razorbacks’ 3-4 defense. He’s tall (6-foot-4) and fast (4.68 4o-yard dash) for the position, giving him the tools to be a talented pass rusher with enough athleticism to help in coverage. He also has a lot of upside having played primarily wide receiver at Horn High School in Mesquite, Texas. With more experience and development at outside linebacker, he could be exactly what the Hogs need.
He joins Bumper Pool, who is projected to play inside, as linebacker commits in the class. Those two complete the 2018 linebacker group as things stand now.
Stay in contention for elite TE
Arkansas hasn’t necessarily made any obviously positive ground with its top tight end targets — Luke Ford and Glenn Beal. But it hasn’t lost any either, so consider this mission accomplished over the past 30 days.
Ford, the No. 47 overall prospect in the class, committed to Arkansas in March and de-committed three months later. He’s repeatedly stated the Hogs are still a serious contender. Last week, the Razorbacks’ staff sent him a large package of personalized letters. For now, Alabama is the favorite. But Arkansas still remains a possibility, and that’s all it can ask for at this point.
Beal visited campus in late June and came away very impressed. The No. 1 tight end from Louisiana in the class, LSU views him as its top target at the position and is the favorite. Arkansas has something LSU, and every other FBS school, do not — two Mackey Award winners. The Hogs will keep pitching such selling points to stay in contention, as they’ve done the past month.
Keep the committed locked in
Keeping players committed is always a strong point of emphasis for coach Bret Bielema and his assistants. The staff often says they recruit committed players just as hard as the uncommitted.
That approach has helped the Hogs, for the most part, avoid de-commitments under Bielema. Ford was just the seventh player to de-commit in the past five recruiting classes. That’s well below the SEC average over the same period. Alabama, for instance, had nine in the 2017 class alone.
This was yet another task the Razorbacks achieved in August, giving them a perfect to-do list for the month. The 12 current commits have shown no signs of wavering on their pledge. Many of those, if not all, are expected to officially sign in December.
Coming next: Look for Arkansas’ September recruiting to-do list on Friday.