How many O-line starters this year were recruited by Sam?

I don’t think any. So, the conversion of these guys (recruited for a finesse, run and gun, offense) into a power blocking line has had mixed results. No way do they physically or mentally resemble the Sam Pittman type O-line he had when here before and that he had at Georgia. Is there anyone who really does not expect Sam here at Arkansas to once again, recruit and develop the O-line that he has consistently produced throughout his career? That process has started, there is size and talent in his young backup line and they seem to be loading up behind them. They weren’t ready to put the Juniors and Seniors that Chad recruited on the bench this year, but they are getting there.

So, I too wish it happened instantly but I am willing to let the man handle it his way and I expect it will work out like we and him all want it to. Just not as quick as we all would like. JMVVVVVVHO

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The Oline should improve in the next year or so. Kutas has size. It will take Coach a little time! Something that fans don’t have patience to deal with. There’s potential that sat out this season we will get an idea early next season.

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Besides Kutas just how many young ones do we have in the wings? Not just the Oline but all over the roster?

The coaches are extremely high on freshmen E’Marion Harris and Andrew Chamblee too. They love Kutas.

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We really won’t know until the portal opens and closes! It’s a mere guess for us and the staff.

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Very good opinion in my book!! WPS

What we need, then, is some portal players of Sam’s type to go with his recruits to begin to get up to his standard?

I think we should have a discussion on whether the portal has a stunting affect on young players.
I look at baseball and so many of the players Dave recruited last season left due to not getting playing time. I know Stovall showed that freshmen can win out, but in the field he was the exception.
I also have expressed the idea that Sam changed this season. He and his coaches played very few backups. The d-line is an exception and the secondary had to due to injuries.
The o-line played almost no reserves except for Crawford and clearly wore down the last third of the season.
I just don’t like recruiting a great prospect, going in the portal and grabbing someone to block him and then not playing him at all.

There is a belief in coaching that you do not play young players until they are ready so that they do not become discouraged if they do not enjoy some success when put into the game. Today that is probably flipped in that players are looking to play early and portal helps them with that. Recruits also look to see what openings you have for playing time and does the coaching staff indeed have backups ready to play when the chance comes or does the coaching staff create opportunities to let players get experience and see where they stand. I think this is the area is the one that SP and his staff has to get better handle on. Seeing the backup qb perform well and not so well or having receiver shift to secondary are noticed by these players and recruits. Winning solves most of these issues but a year like the one we just had tends to highlight areas for all to see. Competition is good as it reflects best of best over reasonable time frame and promotes having backups ready. Injuries are part of the game to be expected. Putting players in position to succeed is something the basketball and baseball coaches do a good job of. I like the move to upgrade the strength aspect of the program as it impacts much of what I discussed in this commentary. SP is still learning how be coach in toughest conference in football,

I really have mixed feelings on the strength coach situation. One, against Liberty they were not out strengthed. They were too slow and did not adjust. Against Ole Miss they played winning ball. Against Missouri again they were slow at both tackles.
Those two teams used the “have to have big, slow linemen” against us. Strength would not have helped much.
The other thing, and I have no knowledge on this, don’t players have the responsibility to get strong and ready to play? They are given the facilities and nutrition. They have access to knowledgeable coaches. At some point where does the buck stop on the players? I am interested in others’ opinions.
I do trust Sam knows what he is doing. But I am curious.

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