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.
Being committed to Hogs ‘kind of like you’re getting engaged’
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema doesn’t want any of the Razorbacks’ commits looking at any other potential suitors.
So, when a recruit announces his commitment to the Hogs, Bielema has a detailed conversation with them about what it means to be committed to his program. Verbal commitments are nonbinding until a recruit can officially sign on National Signing Day in February.
“We have a very, very detailed conversation about, if you’re gonna commit, this means we’re done. You’re not gonna go look at anybody else,” Bielema said. “I always make reference, it’s kind of like you’re getting engaged. We’re not married yet; that happens in February. But you’re not going out on any other dates. You’re not gonna go have a cup of coffee with anybody else. You’re gonna stay with what we are.
“I basically just think that in our program, you have to have an allegiance to one.”
This issue recently came up for the Razorbacks’ 2017 class when running back commit Chase Hayden was reportedly set to visit Michigan for the Wolverines’ game against Wisconsin last week.
Hayden (5-foot-10, 189 pounds) eventually canceled the visit. Had he visited Michigan, sources confirmed to SEC Country he would no longer be considered among the Hogs’ 2017 commits. As it is now, the 3-star recruit from St. George’s Independent School (Collierville, Tenn.) remains one of the 19 commits in the class.
While Bielema generally doesn’t allow it, he did say he allows some exceptions for committed recruits wanting to take visits elsewhere.
“Sometimes when those issues arise, I’ll make an exception,” Bielema said. “Some of them, I’ll make an exception before they commit. ‘Hey, I wanna take this visit, my parents don’t get to travel.’ Especially now that kids today, parents get to travel. So, there are some exceptions I’ve made, but for the most part, yeah, we say once you’re in, you’re in and nobody else looking around.”
Michigan commit Woods making official visit this weekend
Ironically, considering the recent situation with Hayden, a Michigan commit is set to make an official visit to Fayetteville this weekend.
Florence (Ala.) High School 2017 3-star safety J’Marick Woods said he will make his first official to see Arkansas take on Alabama.
Woods (6-3, 205) is the No. 16 prospect in Alabama and No. 26 safety in the class. He has been committed to Michigan since late March, but Hogs defensive coordinator Robb Smith and defensive backs coach Paul Rhoads have continued to pursue him.
1st official this weekend ? #WooPig
— J'Marick Woods (@JL_Woods1) October 2, 2016
Major 2019 WR target to attend Alabama game
Marquez Beason, a 2019 4-star wide receiver from Bishop Dunne High School (Dallas, Texas), will attend his second Arkansas game this season on Saturday.
Beason (5-11, 160) is the No. 89 overall prospect in his class. He has offers from Baylor and Texas-San Antonio.
Beason will be attending the game with Bishop Dunne 2019 4-star defensive back Brian Williams, who hasn’t missed an Arkansas game this season. Williams’ older brother, Rawleigh, is the Hogs’ starting running back. Beason also attended Arkansas’ win over Texas State with Williams earlier this season.
— Quez ™️#⃣️1️⃣3️⃣ (@iamquez23) October 3, 2016
Offered running back commits to Oklahoma
Arkansas 2017 running back target Kennedy Brooks announced his commitment to Oklahoma via Twitter on Monday.
Brooks (6-0, 197) is a 4-star prospect from Mansfield (Texas) High School. He was offered by the Razorbacks last May, and was believed to hold them in high consideration. That likely changed once Hayden committed in late July, locking up both Arkansas’ running back spots in the class.
However, Brooks almost certainly would’ve become a primary target once again until Hayden decided to cancel his trip to Michigan.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.