Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss what one prominent Texas high school coach thinks of Chad Morris, why Morris desperately wanted signee LaDarrius Bishop and a new punter.
Texas high school coach Todd Ford believes Chad Morris will ‘do wonderful things at Arkansas’
Arkansas coach Chad Morris has many supporters in the Texas high school football scene. That’s a big part of what has Razorbacks fans excited for the future of recruiting in the Lone Star State.
Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas) coach Todd Ford is among those with a strong admiration for Morris. Ford has been on the coaching staff at six Texas high schools. He was also offensive coordinator at North Texas for three seasons (2007-09). He’s coached Arkansas linebacker signee Bumper Pool for the past two seasons at Lovejoy.
“I think it’s a wonderful hire for the University of Arkansas,” Ford recently told SEC Country. “I think he’s going to do wonderful things at Arkansas. He’ll continue to build it to what it is that the whole state of Arkansas wants it to become. He’s a great person and a great coach.”
Morris’ coaching roots are in Texas. He was a head coach at five high schools in the state over 16 seasons. He compiled a 169–38 record during that time. He’s continued to regularly identify himself as a high school coach first and foremost. That has resonated with several coaches across the state.
“Chad is one of us,” Ford said. “He’s a Texas high school football coach who has made the jump and is so extremely successful. But what makes Chad the person he is, is that he’s just like you and I. What you see is what you get.”
Ford added that there’s no doubt the relationships Morris has developed in Texas will help Arkansas in recruiting. He feels coaches will be very comfortable suggesting Arkansas as a potential destination for their players because of what they know about Morris.
Morris on CB signee LaDarrius Bishop: We had to get him
When Arkansas hired Morris earlier this month, he immediately made Ashdown (Ark.) cornerback LaDarrius Bishop one of his top recruiting priorities.
At the time, Bishop was committed to Mississippi State. After having dinner with Morris and a few other members of the new staff on Dec. 10, Bishop flipped that commitment to Arkansas. Once Bishop was officially signed last week, Morris shed some light on why he made him such a high priority.
“We had to go get that guy,” Morris said. “I think he’s going to bring a lot to our program as a young man with the size and speed we need at corner.”
JUCO punter Chad Stephens heading to Arkansas
Junior college punter Chad Stephens recently announced he has accepted a preferred walk-on offer at Arkansas.
Stephens is a 2016 graduate of Rejoice Christian School in Owasso, Okla. He spent the 2016 fall semester at Wyoming before transferring to Dodge City Community College.
While there, he averaged 37.8 yards on 50 punts last season. He had a long of 65 yards, and 12 were pinned inside the 20-yard line.
The Razorbacks are expected to return starting punter Blake Johnson, who will be a junior next season. He is the only punter on the current roster.
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