Join us here at SEC Country for the “Trent’s Trough” notebook as Arkansas Razorbacks beat writer Trent Shadid provides the latest insight on all Hogs recruiting news.
Bielema recruiting hard during bye week
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is spending the bye week balancing work with the current team and a rigorous travel schedule on the recruiting trail.
Bielema spent Sunday night in Florida and recruited Monday afternoon in the western and southern parts of the Sunshine State. He’s also made a trip to Texas this week.
“We went out on the road and recruited pretty heavy,” Bielema said Wednesday. “Monday we had every coach that could be out on the road, out on the road. Locally and throughout the country.”
Bielema still has recruiting stops planned in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and another trip to Texas through Saturday. Several assistants are also making various trips across the country throughout the week, and Bielema said the entire staff traveled to at least one high school Monday.
The recruiting cycle is currently in what the NCAA calls an evaluation/quiet period. During this time, coaches are allowed to watch recruits play in person and meet with their coaches, but can’t visit face-to-face with recruits or their parents.
“Even though you can’t talk to them, they know you’re there,” Bielema said. “The presence is a big deal with the SEC and the kid knows that the head coach is taking time.
“We take the plane and go wherever we’ve got to go.”
Bielema plans to attend the games of three targets on Saturday. One of those games is expected to be at Cisco (Texas) College to watch 4-star defensive end prospect Micheal Clemons. Another will likely be in Yuma, Ariz., where 4-star tight end commit Jeremy Patton is playing for Arizona Western College.
Most of the in-state recruiting is left to tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., who will be in Little Rock on Friday night as Ashdown High School takes on Joe T. Robinson High. The Hogs have two 2017 commits — Ashdown 4-star DB Montaric Brown and Robinson 3-star WR Koilan Jackson — and several 2018 targets playing in that game.
No negative feedback following Auburn loss
According to Bielema, Arkansas fans can rest easy: The Hogs’ 56-3 loss at Auburn last Saturday is having no negative effect in recruiting.
“One of the things that you learn when you are in this profession is that it is probably never as high as the highs and never as low as the lows,” Bielema said. “After Saturday night’s game we went on the road and were greeted with open arms everywhere we went and people were excited about our program, where we are headed, where we have been, where it is at now and it was reassuring for me as a head coach to see and witness.”
The coaches had a recruiting meeting Wednesday morning and Bielema said all his assistants reported positive experiences while out recruiting earlier this week. Not only is the blowout loss apparently not having a negative effect, it might actually be helping the Hogs recruit because of the allure of immediate playing time.
“I’ve actually had kids that have reached out to us that are committed to other places that we compete against that know that the opportunity to come in here and play is there at certain positions,” Bielema said. “It’s been overly positive. Nothing negative that I witnessed.”
DE target de-commits from Ole Miss
Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 2017 defense end Bryan Jones announced his de-commitment from Ole Miss earlier this week.
Jones (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) is a 3-star prospect who has been high on the Razorbacks’ recruiting board since they extended an offer in August. Bielema is likely heading to Jones’ high school this week. He listed Baton Rouge as one of the areas he planned to visit while recruiting.
Arkansas is in need of at least one more defensive lineman in the 2017 class, with only 3-star Katy (Texas) defensive end among the current 19 prospects committed.
Pray. Wait. Trust.?? pic.twitter.com/wFCAzvxI9I
— KINGJONES#️⃣9️⃣9️⃣™ (@yallknowlilb) October 25, 2016
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.