How do we overcome recruiting disadvantages?

We have been in the SEC more than 20 years now.

Certainly had some occasional success by our current standards, but more times than not we have been middle of pack or much lower.

Coaching personalities and recruiting efforts matter of course in recruiting and we have had good coaches.

We have not had consistent higher level SEC talent on our rosters.

We like to think good coaches can take your players and beat you or visa versa, but great coaches rarely put that to the test.

The great coaches go to places where recruiting is easy and built in because they never want to be behind.

Imo we could have nick Saban or Knute Rockne and they likely would not overcome recruiting disadvantages.

So if we believe that lack of top talent enough to win titles in a great league is consistent matter, what is our plan?

I contend spending as much as bigs on recruiting budgets - which I assume we do - simply isn’t producing results.

An AD and Administration can’t just say well we are giving our coach everything he needs and hope a coach produces.

There need be much more concerted effort and I dare say many times existing budget if we are to overcome the disadvantages.

We can hope we overcome disadvantages or lull ourselves that one day a great coach will over come.

I think coach B is the best modern recruiter we have had. And certainly developer of talent.

And in year four we lose 56-3 to a team likely third or fourth in our western division.

This is not a coaching thing.

This is the elephant in the room that must be spoken to or we will have success every so often, but more times than not be watching top sec programs with two deep power and speed talent that we simply do not have.

Our program can’t rely on smoke and mirrors against the best.

Is there an Administration plan to overcome this disadvantage to our peers?

If a business is trying to beat a competitor you consider larger R and D budgets or marketing budgets etc to level advantages of competition and sometimes that means spending two and three times what competition does.

I don’t think the answer is leaving the SEC and its money.

We want to be in the big boy league.

We just need more big boys enough to more consistently compete against schools who clearly have more big boys in back yard.

Solve this equation for X, and the next twenty years will be better than the last.

Coach b made a comment in media days that made me cringe. Something like we have to recruit guys and put them in the oven to bake a bit. We have to out evaluate. Well that hasn’t occurred. Look at offensive line, linebacker, and safety positions. Maybe our staff isn’t that good at recruiting. I shudder when I see kids we offer that have offers from the likes of middle tenn state or Texas state etc. yeah we get a top notch kid from time to time, but when you rank 9th or 10th in recruiting rankings each and every year you eventually finish in the bottom half of the league. We need some dynamic recruiters period. The guys we need to run our system are the same guys everyone wants. That is why the spread evolved. To put teams on at least more Competitive footing. This has occurred before with the wishbone offense. Up to the head coach to figure out how to win.

I know the answer to your question and I have proof that it is the correct answer:

We somehow get lucky and hire an absolutely ELITE top 2-3 coach in the country who has a history of innovative, almost unstoppable offenses, an unrelenting attention to detail, and an uncanny ability to identify and develop overlooked talent. (My guess is that this formula would have us 10-3 and in a BCS bowl by year 3 and 11-2 with a top 10 finish after year 4, and preseason top 10 before year 5).

THEN, and this is the tricky part, YOU DON’T FIRE HIM at the first sign of trouble.

Keep blowing the company line if that’s how your mind works, but Jeff Long is a charlitan and an absolute fool for handling that situation the way he did. I told him that at the time and told him exactly where this thing was headed - which is right we’re we are now, 5 years later.

Just because you or others couldn’t see it then, or can’t see it now doesn’t mean the Jeff Long problem isn’t obvious to those of us who DO have their eyes open.

And BTW, that formula will not work again because, for the reasons you stated, we were beyond lucky that it happened in the first place.

Good job Jeff! Integrity goes a “Long” way - from top 10 program to losing 56-3. We’re getting what we deserve.

I think you’ve nailed the problem, but I’m not sure there really is a solution. If we support the team with facilities, attendance, & coaching salaries, we always have a shot at a good & perhaps a great season.

It’s a two-edged sword to be in the SEC. Top recruits want to be part of it so we can get players who’d rather play for us than schools in other P5 conferences. But the very top recruits prefer Bama, LSU, UGA, Florida, Auburn, & A&M. All but two of those are SECW. We can lose 2-3 games in this division & actually be one of the top 10-15 teams in the country. Right now we’re 5-3. The record isn’t that bad. The size of last night’s loss is most bothersome, but it’s still only one loss. If we win 3 of our last 4, we’ll have the best record we’ve had since 2011. That’s a steady improvement. If we just win 2, we’ll still have equaled our best since 2011. That’s a positive trend even if it’s not as large as we’d like.

Great post NE

I’ll just add - If Gus Malzaun was Ark Coach he wouldn’t have played fir a Natiobal title because of the lack of talent base that he has in East Alabama and West Georgia

So here are some thoughts on the Arkansas program problem

Coach Bret is a good recruiter but as you noted - if you want the best you need a winning name program

Arkansas is not s Mount Rushmore FB program and when youre a mid level program recruiting against Mount Rushmore programs your not going to win
A lot of recuiting battles

Add Arkansas horrible perception outside the state that hurts the program

The only knowledge most kids today have of Arkansas is Central H/S in 1958 form H/S history books - that hurts us badly

And I’m certain the opposition coaches pounce on Arkansas history - Ark size and rural hillbilly imiagry (noting to do at Ark etc unless you hunt and fish)

I like Coach Bret’s nitch approach with OLine

But last night and this year that has taken a real hit

What we need is what Suburn had with Bo Jackson

A difference maker who shine so much it elevates the program

I thought we had that in 2006 but sadly we didn’t have the HC to take advantage of the gift of so much talent

But it’s CBP fault that we lose 56-3…or maybe the Russians :lol:

As it currently stands, I would expect to have several defensive asst coaches jobs available, perhaps including the DC. I would also expect that several Longhorn assistant coaches will be seeking jobs after the season. We should be identifying the best recruiter among TX assistant coaches. Go after him (or them) with well above market dollars as soon as possible.

However, the best possible way to upgrade our recruiting quickly, would be to go after Orgeron when (or if) LSU goes after a big name head coach to replace Miles. Make him among the highest paid DCs in the SEC and let him hire great recruiting defensive asst coaches.

All good thoughts.

Just seems we need to dedicate more to overcome the disadvantages.

I don’t put this on a coach as much as an Administration that must address and plan to put more resources to it than most other programs in order to give us best chance to win at highest levels.

Great post if winning is so important that institutional integrity doesn’t matter. CBP’s problem wasn’t “the first sign of trouble.” It was a whole charade of lying to get his girlfriend a job in the athletic dept & bypassing proper channels. He tried to cover the whole affair up, including trying to lie about her even being on the bike when it wrecked. It was a whole plethora of things that left anyone who cared about the school’s integrity no choice. Now, should that have been overlooked because he’s a talented coach who knows how to win big? Obviously in your opinion, it does. Most of us disagree. Besides, we’ll see how long his success lasts at UL. Maybe a while. Maybe not.

I’ve said it before & will say it again…RECRUITING wins games!..and when we just acquiesce & say, “Oh, we can’t recruit with Bama, LSU, or FL”, it is a defeatist attitude. It is a real shame the ONLY time recruiting posters will get listened to is AFTER losses.
Here is how you do it!
1st, Don’t concede a damn thing! YES, we can recruit with ANY team. We have the facilities, tradition, and fan support (best fans in the nation, coolest mascot, and best, and most unique cheer - HOG CALL). With that in mind, go after the best recruits!!!
2nd, WORK HARDER!!!.. I notice that the teams on the rise in recruiting are contacting recruits earlier (ie, 10th, 11th grade)
3rd. Offer EARLIER!!!
4th Make MORE offers! There is NO reason we can’t reach out to ANY of Bama’s COMMITS and tell them they get earlier playing time with us
5th Use our “credentials”! We place TE’s, OL, and RB’s IN THE LEAGUE!!
6th. OUr campus/general area is the most beautiful in the SEC!!!
USE EVERY LEGAL ADVANTAGE you can find!! NEVER say “we can’!”!!!

No one says we shouldn’t try. No one says we shouldn’t emphasize our positives. But “work harder” , “offer earlier” & “make more offers” is easy to say. Why do you think our coaches aren’t already working as hard as they can & why do you think more & earlier offers will translate to better signees? You do understand the rest of the SEC has coaches who work hard & do everything they can to get recruits, too, don’t you? What we cannot change are geography, population base, demographics, etc. It isn’t defeatist to recognize those facts.

I agree with all this and quadruple recruiting budgets of the bigs to do all possible within the law to level playing field.

Our goal has to be championships

Keep blowing the company line if that’s how your mind works, but Jeff Long is a charlitan and an absolute fool for handling that situation the way he did. I told him that at the time and told him exactly where this thing was headed - which is right we’re we are now, 5 years later.

Just because you or others couldn’t see it then, or can’t see it now doesn’t mean the Jeff Long problem isn’t obvious to those of us who DO have their eyes open.

And BTW, that formula will not work again because, for the reasons you stated, we were beyond lucky that it happened in the first place.

Good job Jeff! Integrity goes a “Long” way - from top 10 program to losing 56-3. We’re getting what we deserve.

like it or not
there is real truth to this opinion.

understanding that ship has sailed
that horse is beat to death
that water is under the bridge and in the gulf by now

still… a valid point.

we had the solution.
a highly controversial business decision was made

now its today

mediocrity is what most achieve

we bought and paid for it
should not complain too much i guess

If we could just get you on staff, all of our troubles would be over. :roll:

I don’t know that I agree with you that we can recruit with anyone, but I agree we don’t appear to be trying. If you don’t ask the girl out NO WAY you get a date. If you do ask her out and she says no, are you worse off than if you didn’t ask her?

We have tried to approach of “waiting to offer when all the ducks are in a row” it doesn’t appear to be getting the results we need. Not offering the kid from Oklahoma until the very last minute (a kid who wanted to come to Arkansas until he got his feelings hurt)? I get it. He had a grade and/or test issue. But what happened if we offer him early and he doesn’t make it? We don’t get it. What happens if we don’t offer until the last minute? We don’t get him. What happens when we offer him early and he makes it? WOW, we get him? Tell me again why we waited to offer???

The kid from Fayetteville that Bama offered and has a commitment from? Hmmm. We never offered. I don’t know the reasons he isn’t “Uncommon” but nothing has been stated about him to make me think he isn’t.

OFFER, OFFER EARLY, OFFER OFTEN. If you don’t ask, they can’t say yes.

Well, the facts are we don’t offer early and we don’t offer as many as say, Ole Miss. It can’t hurt to offer sooner and more. It appears we lost at least one last year by offering late.

It appears the “rest of the SEC” do make offers early.

I’m just not sure there’s any evidence that an early offer equates to a more likely signature. I know we offer some quite early & others not so early. I know we’ve lost some we’ve offered early & even had some early commits decommit. Besides, an early offer is also more risky in the sense you can find out the kid doesn’t pan out. I’m no expert on recruiting strategy–which makes me about like everyone else on this board–but I don’t think differences in strategy necessarily means one strategy is worse.

Very well put. This article was written not long after the famous firing and infamous hiring and roughly 3 weeks before the start of fall practice in 2012.


Here we go again! Geography (wah, wah); population base (boo hoo); demographics (sob, sob)… Let’s look at those!.. (first of all, this is EXACTLY what I’m referring to when I say “defeatist” attitude!!! Just flat out say, we can’t)…Demographics, I suppose you are referring to the lack of African Americans in AR and specifically NWAR…ever been to the states of Nebraska or Oregon or Washington?..Doesn’t seem to impede those programs!!!..Population base - we’re splitting our AR athletes with NO ONE and have a 3 million population base. MS has 3 million and splits theirs 2 (some say 3 with USM) ways… We have players in AR, but our recruiting has to extend BEYOND AR and become national!..GEOGRAPHY?..what the hell? Have you ever been to MS? What a poor, terrible, state!..or even to Louisiana!.. Alabama is a poor state… If you’re speaking of geography from merely a location standpoint, Norman, OK is in OKLAHOMA!!!.. Maybe you are saying F’ville is hard to get to… Not sure about your “geography” analysis…maybe “where” we are?..but I don’t believe we are suffering to any measurable extent because of “geography”… ANOTHER attempt to legitimize our recruiting being in the 10-12 range in the SEC… CBB has leaned on his “coaching” which I believe to be “off the charts”, but his recruiting HAS to improve!!! I shouldn’t say it, but I’m gonna, I believe CBB is a lazy recruiter!!!