Join us here at SEC Country for the “Calling the Hogs” notebook, providing insight on all the latest Arkansas Razorbacks’ recruiting news.
Smith uses past development as selling point to recruits
Arkansas wide receiver Drew Morgan signed with the Razorbacks in 2013 as a 2-star recruit with only two other FBS offers.
Now, as a senior, Morgan is considered among the top targets in the SEC. He’s on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award after leading Arkansas in receptions (63), yards (843) and touchdown catches (10) last season. He also finished in the top 10 in the SEC in all three of those categories.
Morgan’s career development has been overseen by fourth-year wide receivers coach Michael Smith, who has made a career of turning lightly-recruited prospects into stars.
While coaching wide receivers at Kansas State (2009-12), Smith recruited and signed 3-star prospect Tyler Lockett from Tulsa, Okla. Lockett’s only other Big 12 offer came from Kansas, yet the current Seattle Seahawk went on to become an All-American as a both a wide receiver and kick returner after playing two seasons with Smith as his position coach.
Smith also signed and coached Darren Sproles during his first stint at K-State (1997-2005) as a running backs coach. Sproles didn’t even have a composite star rating and no other reported FBS offers coming out of Olathe (Kan.) North High School in 2001. But with the Wildcats he set 23 school records and is entering his 12th season in an NFL career that includes three first-team All-Pro selections.
“I think that’s something I’ve always taken pride in as a coach,” Smith said. “That’s my job, to go out and help young men reach their fullest potential. I’ve never had the ‘luxury’ of coaching a 5-star. But I’ve always prided myself on the guys that I’ve been able to help get to the next level from a football aspect, but I’ve also prided myself in the way I’ve tried to help young men become men.
“I do use that as a tool (in recruiting),” Smith said. “And I develop not only football players, but men.”
What’s the Pitch?
SEC Country is asking several current Razorbacks what their pitch would be when trying to entice a recruit at their position to come to Arkansas.
For Friday’s edition of “What’s the Pitch?,” we recently asked starting junior quarterback Austin Allen what he would say to get a high school quarterback to Fayetteville.
Allen: “If you want to be the best quarterback you can be, come play at Arkansas. (Offensive coordinator Dan Enos) will put you in the right type of offense, the best type of offense, and give you the tools to try to be the best you can be.”
Basketball commits react to Perry’s pledge
Wednesday was a day of celebration for the Arkansas basketball program as 4-star 2018 forward Reggie Perry announced his commitment to the Razorbacks via Twitter.
Some past, current and future Hogs responded with Tweets of excitement and congratulations to landing one of the top 100 players in the class. Perry is a 6-foot-9, 225-pound prospect from Thomasville (Ga.) High School.
Arkansas is one of just 12 major programs to have already secured a commitment for 2018.
Here’s a look at some of the reactions to Perry’s commitment.
Khalil Garland, 2017 guard commit:
— kg. (@k_garland3) August 17, 2016
Darius Hall, 2017 forward commit:
— Big.dayday (@bigdayday4) August 17, 2016
Daryl Macon, junior guard:
— Daryl Macon (@YoD4__) August 17, 2016
Bobby Portis, former Arkansas and current Chicago Bulls forward:
— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) August 17, 2016
Mike Anderson, head coach:
Booyah!!! WPS all the way from Thomasville Ga. #WeHogs ?
— Coach Mike Anderson (@MikeAndersonUA) August 17, 2016
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.