Bielema putting fence around the state of Arkansas

With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.

For years now, lots of people inside the Natural State have suggested that if Arkansas could “build a fence” around the state line, the Razorbacks would be in good shape in most every sport.

Football may be a little different, simply because so many players are on the roster. The best 105 players in Arkansas high school football heading to play in Fayetteville wouldn’t yield a very good Arkansas program. The best ones, however, can help build a foundation.

That’s what coach Bret Bielema is trying to get done at Robinson High.

The Little Rock high school bucks the trend of other secondary schools inside the capital city limits when it comes to football success. Robinson isn’t part of the Little Rock Public School District — which has had far more success in basketball than football — and it’s quite a ways outside the “city” part of Little Rock. But the hidden gem is yielding some products for Bielema.

Sophomore running back/wide receiver T.J. Hammonds, freshman wideout Koilan Jackson and freshman defensive end/linebacker David Porter have all entered the program in the last two recruiting classes. Hammonds already is a fan favorite as a potential X-factor. Jackson is our reporter Trent Shadid’s dark horse in this class and Porter perfectly fits the mold of Arkansas’ new defense.

If Robinson keeps up its success, it’s clear it will become a go-to for Razorbacks talent.

Barford and Macon make the Hogs

Did you know:

If Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon don’t return to the Arkansas basketball team, the Razorbacks will have lost more than 70 percent of their scoring?

arkansas-jaylen-barford
Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford (Courtesy Arkansas Athletics)

If Barford and Macon don’t return to the Arkansas basketball team, the Razorbacks have very limited depth at either guard spot?

The good news is neither Barford or Macon is expected to leave. The two junior guards, both of whom finished their first season with the Razorbacks after coming from junior college, are undoubtedly the focus of the team next season if they return. Both have potential pro careers, but a standout senior season could give them both probable NBA careers.

Don’t sleep on the Privateers

The Diamond Hogs’ midweek test Wednesday is tougher than it sounds.

New Orleans visits Baum Stadium for a one-off game Wednesday night in Fayetteville. New Orleans sits in the middle of the Southland Conference standings after two weekends. And while that doesn’t sound especially dangerous, the Privateers are a team that beat LSU just a couple weeks ago.

Coach Dave Van Horn’s Arkansas team has won eight of its last nine games, including a sweep of Mississippi State last weekend to open SEC play.

First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Benny’s World

A Boston Red Sox outfielder you might have heard of is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Former Arkansas Golden Spikes winner Andrew Benintendi joined his BoSox teammates Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. on the front of sports’ most famous magazine.

Benintendi is a heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year this season. He had a .295/.359/.476 slash line last year in 118 plate appearances. That’s batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Who is ready for baseball?

Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas

Thieving quarters from a laundromat … man, something’s rough.

A North Little Rock man was busted by police for jacking 388 quarters — or $97 — from broken-into machines at a local laundromat. The wild thing is he broke into said laundromat sometime around 4:30 a.m. to commit said crime. Allegedly.

Details in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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

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