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.
For this edition of Trent’s Trough, Arkansas writer Trent Shadid answers 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.
Since we lost so bad at Auburn, are recruits going to be less interested?
Recruits are almost never as overreactive to one game, win or lose, as fans. That’s obviously a good thing after the Hogs were throughly embarrassed in the loss to Auburn.
It does come at a tough time with Arkansas on a bye this week and the coaching staff hitting the road to recruit. But look at it this way, the staff can go sell how much help it needs at certain spots. I’ve often heard that’s how a staff will negate the recruiting negativity that can come with such a big defeat.
I don’t think any of Arkansas’ 19 commits are currently looking elsewhere. Nor do I think the prospects at the top the Hogs’ list will be put off, assuming the team recovers and finishes with some good wins.
The defensive coordinator (Robb Smith) might not have a job for long. Would that hurt or help the Hogs in recruiting?
First of all, I think it’s a little premature to be calling for Smith’s job. There’s no doubt things have progressively declined since Arkansas ranked No. 10 nationally in total defense in Smith’s first season. This season, the Hogs have been abysmal against the run. Whereas last season, it was the pass defense that often faltered.
So, obviously, the fans are feeling if it’s not one thing, it’s another and it’s not good. But let’s see what the defense does over the final four games of the regular season.
If Smith were to not come back next season, I’m not sure it would have much of an impact on recruiting. The position coaches and head coach Bret Bielema carry most of the weight with recruits. In the 2017 class, only one (cornerback Jordon Curtis) of the Hogs’ seven defensive commits reportedly had Smith as their primary recruiter.
The backup quarterback hasn’t seemed impressive this year. Are we going to have someone to replace Austin (Allen) when he’s gone?
Yes, but I think that guy is already on campus and not necessarily coming in this recruiting class.
The coaching staff clearly thinks freshman Cole Kelley, who is redshirting this season, is the future of the position. It was also evident during fall camp that Kelley already is the second-best quarterback on the roster behind Allen. He pushed to be named the backup on the depth chart, but as long as Allen avoids significant injury, there really is no point in not redshirting Kelley.
Beyond Kelley, the Hogs do have 3-star prospect Daulton Hyatt (2017) and 4-star talent Connor Noland (2018) committed for the future. Hyatt is considered a pocket passer with good size at 6-foot-4, but has underrated speed and overall athleticism. Noland also is a highly touted baseball prospect with a great arm and loads of potential as a quarterback.
But for the 2018 season, when Allen is gone, look for Kelley to take over the reins of the offense.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.