Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss a recent Chad Morris recruiting pitch, a top target with Arkansas ties, and more.
Chad Morris’ pitch to recruits: Why not Arkansas?
Top recruits either want to sign with the popular school or sign with a program they hope to transform into a popular choice. That’s the way Arkansas coach Chad Morris sees it. Morris is hoping for plenty of the latter, and he’s very confident those players are coming.
“We want this to be popular,” Morris said. “To wear the Hog around, that’s popular. While it may not be as popular right now, I’m OK with that. That’s OK, because it will be and you better get on the bandwagon now.”
These statements from Morris came during a recent news conference following a spring practice that essentially turned into a sales pitch to recruits. That’s become commonplace in Morris’ three months with the Hogs. Put him in front of a microphone and/or camera and Morris is going send recruits a message as to why Arkansas is the place for them.
“I mean, you’re the University of Arkansas. Why not? I can’t figure it out. Why not? This program, this university, this state … man, they’re so ready for this,” Morris said. “Once we get it going — and we’re going to get it going, all we’ve ever done is win — but once you do, it’s going to take off.”
Hogs in top 9 for DE Mataio Soli
Defensive end Mataio Soli has narrowed his list of top schools and Arkansas made the cut.
Soli is a 3-star prospect from Douglas County High School in Douglasville, Ga., according to the 247Sports composite. Arkansas is joined by Cal, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Virginia on the list he released earlier this week.
Soli (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) had 77 tackles, 20 for loss, and 18 sacks as a junior last season. His father, Junior Soli, was a defensive end at Arkansas from 1992-95.
Arkansas scholarship count update
Morris is planning on signing at least 20 players in the 2019 class. In order to get to that number Arkansas is going to have to experience some attrition in the coming months. In fact, the Hogs will need some current scholarship players to depart to make room for incoming freshmen this fall.
Arkansas currently has scholarships committed to 89 players — 75 practicing this spring and 14 set to arrive this summer. The status of defensive back Kevin Richardson is undetermined as he appeals for a sixth year in the program. If Richardson is denied the extra year, the Hogs are projected to be three above the 85-scholarship limit when more 2018 signees arrive this summer. So there will be at least three scholarship players either departing or not arriving between now and the fall.
Assuming the Hogs are at the 85-player limit when the 2018 season begins, they’ll have 17 scholarships coming open for the 2019 class. Arkansas is expected to be willing to sign four players beyond the available scholarships to account for inevitable offseason attrition. As of now, that leaves the Hogs with a projected signing class of 21 players in 2019.
Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook right here.