Join us daily at SEC Country for “Trent’s Trough” as Arkansas beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest recruiting news.
For this edition of Trent’s Trough, we answer questions from the mailbag submitted by fans on Twitter, Facebook and via email. To submit a question for future mailbags, tweet to @Shadid13, message Trent Shadid on Facebook or email Shadid13@gmail.com.
If Robb Smith leaves, does that hurt this recruiting class?
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith is all but officially gone at Arkansas. The latest reports have him heading to Minnesota to the fill the same position. Before that, he was rumored to be the leading candidate at Wake Forest for its defensive coordinator vacancy. Expect Minnesota to soon be announced as Smith’s landing spot, but regardless of the destination, it’s clear a parting of ways will occur between him and the Razorbacks.
From a recruiting standpoint, the change shouldn’t harm Arkansas at all. Defensive backs coach Paul Rhoads is likely to replace Smith. Rhoads is a well-respected name recruits and parents likely will be drawn to, and he’s considered a better recruiter than Smith.
The 2017 class likely won’t change at all. Tulsa-area recruits Jordon Curtis and Kyrei Fisher are the only current commits in the class whom Smith served as the primary recruiter. Fisher already has signed his financial aid agreement and soon will join the program for the spring semester. Curtis long has been committed to the Hogs, showing no interest in other programs for many months.
As for the remaining uncommitted targets, 4-star cornerback Chevin Calloway and 3-star safety Kamren Curl sit atop that list. Smith has played a role in the recruitment of those players. However, so has Rhoads, who has made in-home visits to both. Head coach Bret Bielema also has been significantly involved in their recruitment. Both are planning to announce their decisions on National Signing Day (Feb. 1), but don’t expect the defensive coordinator change to decide things for them.
Notre Dame just offered Tre Norwood from Fort Smith, Ark., and he’s committed to Louisville. Where’s the interest from Arkansas?
Arkansas definitely knows about Tre Norwood — a 3-star cornerback from Northside High School. For whatever reason, the coaching staff opted to not extend an offer, and there’s almost no chance of one coming his way before Signing Day.
The Hogs already have three players expected to play cornerback committed and potentially could add another with Calloway. There were simply other options out there the coaches liked better, so they passed on him. We’ll see if he goes to Louisville, Notre Dame or elsewhere and proves them wrong. My opinion would be Arkansas has three better options committed at the position, with great potential for a fourth.
Can Montaric Brown be considered a lock now that he canceled visits to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State?
Obviously, nothing in recruiting should be considered certain until a National Letter of Intent is signed and delivered. However, fans shouldn’t worry about 4-star safety commit Montaric Brown. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant flirted with the idea of officially visiting OU and OSU this month. He ultimately decided he would stick with only one official trip in January — to Arkansas.
Once the coaching staff got wind of his possible visits, it made every effort to prevent that from happening. Mission accomplished, and Brown now shouldn’t be considered a risk to sign elsewhere.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.