Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss the continued efforts of Bret Bielema’s staff and a top target visiting elsewhere.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema plans on recruiting this weekend
Arkansas is preparing for its regular-season finale this Friday amid uncertainty surrounding coach Bret Bielema’s future. As far as Bielema is concerned, he’s planning to be retained for another season.
The Razorbacks coach recently put out his best sales pitch for why he should keep his job. In the process, he laid out recruiting plans for the weekend. There is a three-week recruiting contact period beginning next Sunday. Bielema is expecting to be on the road recruiting immediately during that time.
“My goal is to put our best performance on Friday and hopefully try to get ourselves a victory,” Bielema said. “Saturday regroup during the morning, hop on a plane and get recruiting on Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
Assuming he is still Arkansas’ coach during the contact period, Bielema is expected to place much of his focus on defense. The Hogs had five junior college official visitors last weekend, four of them defensive players. Bielema’s hope is to bring in those players, or as many as possible, with the idea they can help turn things around quickly for the No. 13 scoring defense in the SEC.
“[We] have a good plan for us in defensive recruiting as we move forward,” Bielema said.
Bielema’s recent and planned recruiting efforts are commendable. Not every coach in such a situation would do the same. If he keeps his job, at least he has a recruiting plan for what he thinks will turn the Razorbacks around rather than waiting to make sure he’s not wasting his time on a job he’ll lose.
DB target Aaron Maddox to visit North Carolina State
Pima Community College (Tucson, Ariz.) defensive back Aaron Maddox was among the five official visitors at Arkansas last weekend. He came away very impressed with the Razorbacks, but is still planning to examine all his other options.
This weekend, Maddox will take an official visit to North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are hosting rival North Carolina on Saturday. Maddox is also expected to visit Colorado and Louisville in the coming weeks.
Where Arkansas stands for Maddox is likely to be far clearer after this weekend with his visit to N.C. State behind him and Bielema’s immediate future likely determined.
Maddox had 58 tackles, 3 pass breakups and an interception in eight games at Pima this season. He is only a freshman, but he qualified academically to play at the FBS level out of high school so he could transfer after this season. In that case, he would have three seasons of eligibility remaining and the possibility to redshirt.
His father, Richard, was a standout linebacker at Arizona during the era of the Wildcats’ Desert Swarm defense (1992-93). Richard also made the trip to Fayetteville last weekend.
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