We are not gonna know if this was right or not for several years. What I do know if historically when our in state high schools produced talent the hogs were good. Sadly the talent inside the state is terrible now.
Take 7a football. Bryant has a player or two but that is it for all 16 teams that play at that level. Not a single Little Rock pine bluff or delta recruit. When your entire class has to come from elsewhere just makes this job harder.
I am not getting into a charter school debate but Blytheville Helena pine bluff and throughout Little Rock charter schools suck kids out of schools and none of these schools play football. A fee offer basketball but that is it. We got to find players in this state and when our state can’t produce players makes things difficult
Arkansas HS football has improved over the past 15-20 years but you need a coach who can evaluate talent and get them to the Hill. Nutt would not have been around to coach McFadden if not for Matt Jones, likely would not have won more than 5-6 games in 01, 02, & 03 without Jones & 04, 05 were bad. There are kids in 6a, 5a and 4a who can play D1, not just 7a.
Charter schools, everyone of them should have to play 7a in all sports or form their on league.
In all of the Arkansas classifications only 4-5 kids have Arkansas offers. There is a big lack of talent in our state. A whole bunch of high schools still operate the wing-t offense in the lower levels.
To my knowledge none of the private schools have any sec level d-1 players. North Little Rock has a few Memphis and Monroe have offered but that is it.
Reason I bring this up is our starting center is a former walk in and folks complain about him. Backup linebackers are both walking in Morgan and henry. Not a lot of Arkansas kids got the speed and size for the sec. we have got to get that fixed. No way Pulaski county/Little Rock schools shouldn’t have a kid yearly sec worthy.
For as long as I can remember, Arkansas has been a state that I expect there to be about 10-15 Division I signees each year, and that includes players going to mid-major programs. To me, the problem isn’t the quality of football or coaching so much as it is the population. Unless the state sees a big uptick in its number of residents, I don’t see there being a lot more recruits in the future than there are now.
But there are in-state players right now committed to Texas A&M, Ole Miss and North Carolina. I’m at all of Fayetteville High School’s games and I see players most Friday nights who I think could play at Arkansas if they were given a chance. Not all are seniors and there are probably other factors like grades or attitude that keep some from having that opportunity.
I promise I don’t mean to be political with this. I think this article provides an example of why people in a lot of small Arkansas towns can’t afford and don’t want to pay for extracurriculars like libraries or, in this case, quality high school football. And In the past Arkansas has gotten some great players from its smaller towns. Not just LR or NWA.
We have a very poor and marginalized state. Reality, folks. Central Ark. and Little Rock HS football is symptomatic of that, certainly. Isn’t close to what it used to be when Central, Parkview, Hall, Catholic and Pine Bluff all used to have great teams.
The big three in LR used to be Central, Hall, Parkview. They all play in different leagues now, Central 7A, Hall 6A, and Parkview 5A. That shows you how down quality of football in LR has dropped over the last decade or so. Central is playing much better this year but still not as good as NWA. Hall won 2 games this year and that was the most they have won in a single year in the last 5. LR Catholic seems to always have a competitive team, NLR and Bryant in the last few years have been good. It could be a population shift. I don’t know since I haven’t lived in central Arkansas in over 20 years. I do know it puts UA at disadvantage when there is only 10 Division 1 players in the entire state and we won’t get them all.
I have no information on the private schools anywhere in Arkansas such as PA where Hunter Henry came from. I know most of players at Shiloh are not good D1 players but they have excellent teams in their league.
That has nothing to do with quality, it has to do with enrollment, pure and simple. Central always had the largest enrollment but Parkview fell off after it became a magnet school. Something no one is mentioning is that athletic kids in Pulaski County are playing basketball. Obviously a 6-9 kid is probably going to play basketball regardless, but 6-0 kids with quickness are playing point guard instead of cornerback. Even Justice Hill quit football for a while then went back.
If UofA’s recent demographic studies are correct, Arkansas HS graduates who are eligible for college will drop 30% by 2029. We need to focus on signing the best in-state talent but also recognize that pool of in-state talent is shrinking - so need to look elsewhere.
Not disagreeing on national basis but that trend is just the opposite in TX with a growing influx from CA & the rest of the country. DFW at almost 9 million population is already planning for 20 million. With there already being waiting lists at major TX universities & proximity to No TX, UofA is well positioned to benefit from that growth, both in enrollment & in recruiting.
Move-ins are a different deal, and even the move-ins aren’t bringing as many kids. There may be 20 million in DFW in 20 years but if they’re largely one-kid or no-kid families, that’s still not going to fill high school seats.
However, with the kids that are there, I don’t disagree that UA can continue to get good kids out of the Metroplex whose grades aren’t quite good enough for EOE or TAM. And I don’t have a problem with that, as long as Arkansas kids get some preferences in admission. But if there aren’t enough kids from Pocahontas and Smackover who want to go to UA, let the kids from McKinney and Waxahachie in.
You may be right about smaller families, but they cannot build enough elem. schools here to accommodate the DFW growth. DFW alone is 3x that of the state of Arkansas so many look at ou, osu, & UofA. My street in Plano has more Hog flags than any other university.
As long as TX out of state tuition subsidizes lower costs & scholarships for AR kids, I am all for the out of state growth & influx of $. Many top 7% academics kids choose go elsewhere vs ut & aTm, including my son currently a senior at UofA because of the better academics there. Many choose to remain in AR if jobs are there.
And that’s why I have no problem with bringing out of state kids in to UA. Their parents may not have been Arkansas taxpayers, but if they find jobs after graduation, they will become Arkansas taxpayers themselves. The trick then is to improve the state’s economy so that people can work somewhere besides Walmart and Tyson to stay in the state after they get the diploma. The growth of the Austin area is in large part due to UT. UA is making efforts to do the same but must do more.
When I look at the Razorback roster I do not see one single scholarship player from the Little Rock, North Little Rock, Fort Smith, Pine Bluff, or El Dorado Public School Districts. Who were the last players from Little Rock? The highly acclaimed defensive tackle from Little Rock Central who never contributed (Bledsoe)? Or Pine Bluff? Rod Stinson 10 years ago? When you have more players from Star City or Nashville Arkansas than what used to be the highest high school conference in the state there is a problem. I know this is a poor state and some districts say they do not have the money to support athletics in the same way they did in the past but other states seem to have found a way to maintain their systems.
Endless families here in No TX are relocating their businesses & families to NWA per discovering the area after their kids go to UofA. Internet enables working from home plus XNA & the influx of companies to support Walmart & others. Planning my move there too. Austin is being driven by Californians & high tech silicon valley companies relocating there due to lower cost of living & no income tax. Austin is now becoming too crowded to enjoy.
The best Football Players in State 8 out of 10 are playing Basketball. It’s just as much if not more talent now than their has ever been…but the strongest/fastest etc…are all practicing their jumpshot.
The Little Rock School District has had, I think, two players sign Division I in the past 10 years. Players in Little Rock are going to winning programs - Pulaski Academy, North Little Rock, Bryant, Little Rock Christian, etc.
There are good players out of the other districts but not all play at Arkansas. K.J. Hill (Ohio State) went to North Little Rock. Tre Norwood (Oklahoma) went to Fort Smith Northside. Will Gragg (Pittsburgh) went to Pine Bluff.
What about Kenneth Dixon from little ole Strong (pop maybe 500 on Saturday night)? A heck of a running back. Hogs didn’t offer so he ended up at La Tech playing for Skip Holtz who did offer. I think he ended up being the second leading scorer in NCAA his Sr year. Also drafted by NFL.
KL I agree however we aren’t producing many Kenneth Dixon’s within the state anymore. No players from fort smith Little Rock pine bluff Helena Texarkana or even nw Arkansas.
I do agree and find it a shame that tryouts at parkview or central will have 60 boys. The 45-50 who don’t make it won’t play football and that is crazy. As I told a parent of a young athlete tonight I know their son loves basketball but at best he will be 6’2”. Not much for bball but a helluva safety.
We also need baseball coaches to quit telling high school kids that they have to participate in fall ball and not play football.