SEC Country reporter Trent Shadid will answer your Arkansas Razorbacks football recruiting questions each weekday in our recruiting question of the day mailbag. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs, @Shadid13 or by email to Trent at Shadid13@gmail.com. To view prior answers to our questions, click here.
Recruiting Question of the Day: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Who works(ed) harder at recruiting, Bielema or Morris?
— Robert Handford (@RobertHandford) May 10, 2018
As far as commitment results, there hasn’t yet been a noticeable difference between Bret Bielema and Chad Morris at Arkansas. There may not be until Morris and Co. prove they can win some games in Fayetteville. But there are still plenty of noticeable differences between the previous staff and the current group on the recruiting trail.
One obvious difference is Morris and his staff have fully embraced new-age recruiting tactics. Whether it be the constant flow of personalized graphics the staff is sending out or the willingness to hype up each stop they make on the trail, this group of coaches understands how to get the attention of recruits.
That was not an area of strength for the previous staff. Bielema took more of a stubborn approach to such things. He admitted as much in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples.
“I don’t mind Twitter,” Bielema said. “But when a kid makes a decision based on how many Twitter followers he gets, that’s when I’m about ready to tap out.”
I understand Bielema’s stance. A lot of these things do seem trivial at times. But, like it or not, that’s a major part of recruiting today. The new staff may not love it either, but they certainly give the appearance of playing the game as well as any program in the country.
There’s been other evidence, too, that the new staff has a better recruiting approach than the previous. Arkansas is making the short list for far more top recruits than in recent years. The Hogs also have seen an increased number of such prospects coming to campus. To me, that’s a sign of the new staff casting a broader net and pushing for any and every recruit that will listen. From there, they do whatever they can to build strong relationships.
To be fair, I think the previous staff — particularly Bielema — was equally adept at building strong relationships with recruits based on what I’ve seen so far. They just weren’t putting themselves in the discussion for nearly as many top prospects.
Does all this mean Morris and his group are working harder than their predecessors? My gut says yes, but it would be be unfair for me to act like I know that for certain. I haven’t seen enough behind-the-scenes action to know.
I’m only going off what I can see and what I’ve been told. So, I can only give you a guess here, and my guess is Morris.
To view prior answers to our questions, click here.