a poster above alluded to part of the problem but I will re-state it. During the Petrino tenure NOTHING was done without his approval. No assistants did ANYTHING without him. He basically coached offense, defense AND special teams. The players lived in fear and he perpetuated the fear by the relentless cursing, etc. of both player and coach. Think about his last staff here, who wanted those guys. When the bike went in the ditch, so did our recruiting. Those poor assistant coaches couldn’t promise a scholarship to a kid because they were too worried about their own damn jobs and having to move their families. All they did was worry and network. When John L. Smith got here, nice guy, but the inmates ran the asylum. The players partied and ignored each and every rule there was to break. They knew the coaches were gone so they didn’t do a damn thing any of them asked. It was of great concern if there were even enough players academically eligible to hold bielema’s first spring practices!!!
That staff of Petrino’s were handpicked by him to do what he wanted. Steve Caldwell and Tim Horton were the recruiters on that staff. No one had major ties to Texas, Alabama, etc. All were from Montana and played for him and his dad! To say that the cubbard was bare is a major understatement.
Now, Bielema first thought he could pull players from Florida to Arkansas just like he did at Wisconsin. He quickly learned that A, the talent he was getting to Wisconsin was not SEC level and B. it was a lot harder to get those types of players to Arkansas. His best Florida recruiter became a head coach down there in Charlie Partridge. Chris Ash realized it would be really hard and simply went to Ohio St. because who wouldn’t. Each year the staff has been upgraded and become a better recruiting staff. Now the staff has plenty of Louisiana ties and that pipeline is starting to flow. Coach Lunney seems to keep all of the Arkansas kids. Coach Siegrist is beginning to turn some Alabama and Georgia kids are direction. Coach Hargreaves has Houston and Dallas ties that seem to work. Reggie Mitchell has been a staple in Dallas, Chicago and St. Louis. Lets see what he can deliver.
Coach has to allocate scholarships where he can get the best players. No depth at OL when a kid, with no OL experience at all, becomes your FIRST STRING Guard. This is gonna take time.
The foundation is being laid. Smart, academically eligible kids are committing and, as the program grows in discipline and intelligence, so will the production. Always gonna be a bit harder, but, that is Arkansas.
If you don’t think he can get it done, then you have to ask, who is better AND you can hire them. That, my friends is a very short list.
LSU would love to have him and don’t kid yourself about florida St should Jimbo jump to LSU.