Harry King's Article

In reading Harry King’s article he had very encouraging info on the relationship of playing in a bowl and your success the following season.
What caught my eye though was his assertion that CCM is not inheriting an abundance of talent.
I think most will agree that for a SEC team we are a bit short handed in several areas including the OL and DB. But there are bodies there. Bodies that at the time of signing were very highly regarded. We just have not seen them produce and perhaps that will change soon. And I would be willing to bet that there is more pure talent on this roster than CCM left in Dallas. I doubt he would ever say that, but it has to be true.
It was so much fun when Ken Hatfield took over the Razorbacks. Everyone started out on equal footing and Hatfield’s schemes were so different that suddenly guards became tackles, tackles became guards, tailbacks became fullbacks and Tony Cherico became a noseguard where he earned All American recognition. Suddenly players who were bench warmers became strong producers and I hope that is what we have in our future.
This coaching staff could find out what makes Jalen Merrick click, Brandon Martin could become a star, Giovanni LaFrance could become a terror at LB and CCM is going to have a number of talented TE’s, a position that he believes is key to his offense.
If you believe the problem the last six seasons has been CBB and his staff then this should be a very exciting time for you. Spring practice should be very interesting and we may see that the talent level is a little higher here than many have given it credit.

Thanks Hursthawg, Agree 100%

I fully believe we have quite a bit of SEC Talent. We are just not deep enough to absorb major injuries…and we have had critical season ending injuries to critical positions. I contend that if Ryan Pulley had not been lost for the season we would have won 2-3 more games and CBB would probably still be our coach. I don’t say that to disparage Curl because I think he will end up being really good, but he got picked on because he was a freshman and it cost us some crucial, big touchdowns.

The defensive line has one player, Agim, who would have been recruited by A&M, LSU, Bama, Auburn, etc. The rest are, we hope, overlooked diamonds in the rough that are on the verge of sudden greatness. (Please remember that a Bama coach coming by a school to inquire about a kid is not a comittable offer.) Our safeties are the same. Ramirez once had an offer from LSU, but they rescinded it and he then chose us. Pulley and Curl at the corners are respectable but not elite talents. Scoota Harris is an LSU reject who is turning into a good linebacker. Greenlaw IS one of those diamonds in the rough and has good talent, but we are awful thin behind and around them. So, right now, we have Agim, Scoota, Greenlaw, Pulley, and Curl and that is it in our defensive three deep as far as SEC caliber talent. We got a long way to go. Robb Smith was a great defensive coordinator when he had future NFL players in his line, linebackers, and secondary. When those guys left and their replacements were significantly less talented, he became a bad coordinator. Rhoads had been a great coordinator when he had talent at Auburn. With Arkansas’ defensive talent, he didn’t manage to get a mediocre defense on the field. If Chavis and his staff don’t bring in a lot of new talent quick, or get a bunch of players like Bell, Guidry, Capps, etc. to suddenly become great when they struggled before, Chavis will struggle until he does.

On offense, I have a little more hope. I suspect that several offensive linemen who struggled to play in CBB’s smash mouth system, might thrive in CCM’s spread. I think CCM is really excited to exploit and scheme with our talent at tight end. The focus of his recruiting with so few scholarships available is very telling of what he thinks about the receiver talent at Arkansas. When you have most of your receivers and secondary returning, only have 6-8 scholarships available, and the majority are going to receivers and secondary players, it is obvious he thinks we don’t have the kind of speed and talent on The Hill he wants for his system, yet. Between the returning running backs and the slot guys who can become more running backs like Hayden, Warren, Barnes, and Hammonds, it appears the Razorbacks, in his opinion, are OK at running back but not at receiver. He really wants at least one elite receiver to demand two defender’s attention for his offense and he just does not see that player at Arkansas right now. He seems to think he can get by with what we got at quarterback, molding his system to the talent of whoever emerges as the best QB in the spring. I have heard nothing about him even talking to any JC QB’s or transfers like Malzahn, his buddy at Auburn, has gone to several times when their recruited QB’s failed to pan out. (Cam Newton, Nick Marshall, John Franklin, & Jarrett Stidham)

I think Arkansas will have a pretty good offense on the field next year that will become great after a couple more recruiting classes. On defense, unless Chavis & Caldwell stun the recruiting world and bring in some instant impact defensive line talent, we better out-score folks a lot if we expect to win many games in the next two years. JMVVVVVVHO

Thoughtful thread, guys. Much appreciated.

Among the many names mentioned, I’m really curious to see how Jared Cornelius looks in the fall. I’m not sure how long the achilles injury will hold him back, but after reading Clay’s column on Trumain Carroll, I can’t help but think this type of training with focus on quickness and lean muscle will do wonders for guys like him.

I don’t pretend to know the in’s and out’s of the strength program under Herbert and I’m sure he did a nice job for the system he was asked to run (Michigan seems to think so), but I don’t recall many players becoming quicker (or maintaining quickness) while adding strength in their time under him. I can think of a few who seemed to bulk up and slow down too much.

At any rate, I agree with all of you that it will be interesting to see what new schemes and training programs do for some of the existing players. We may lose some size and bulk along the lines, but gain quickness and play faster. Considering how tall of a task it is to consistently overpower people in the SEC, I like the trade off and think we can still have a strong running game doing so. I also feel that being big and fast on defense (Alabama) is obviously great, but if you can’t be both you better at least be fast/quick and make that your strength. Over the past few years I don’t think we were either one at very many positions.