Most of our problems start here

This is not meant to be a criticism of Sam and his staff (it pre-dates him and goes back to his first year). Nor is it an endorsement of everything they’ve done this year.

But this is the biggest reason we continue to get our doors blown off by teams like Alabama. The simple fact is we just have to recruit better and more consistently over a long period of time.

You could say 2018 and 2020, to this point, were downright disasters.

2018 Recruiting Class
Impact Players/Starters Backups Left Early or Never Played
Bumper Pool Dorian Gerald Connor Noland
Isaiah Nichols John Stephen Jones Joe Foucha
Ladarrius Bishop Mike Woods
Rakeem Boyd Courtre Alexander
Ryan Winkel
Nick Fulwider
Billy Ferrell
Myles Mason
Noah Gaitlin
Silas Robinson
Andrew Parker
2019 Recruiting Class
Impact Players/Starters Backups Left Early or Never Played
KJ Jefferson Hudson Henry Greg Brooks
Treylon Burks Marcus Miller Shamar Nash
Ricky Stromberg TQ Jackson
Trey Knox Collin Clay
Jalen Catalon Enoch Jackson
Zach Williams Chibueze Nwanna
Eric Gregory A’Montae Spivey
Myron Cunningham Dylan Rathcke
Taurean Carter Devin Bush
Beaux Limmer Mataio Soli
Malik Chavis
2020 Recruiting Class
Impact Players/Starters Backups Left Early or Never Played
Myles Slusher Marcus Henderson Darin Turner
Dominique Johnson Malik Hornsby Blayne Toll
Feleipe Franks Ray Curry Ebony Jackson (might’ve never signed)
Jashaud Stewart Andy Boykin
Jalen St. John Julius Coates
Eric Thomas Catrell Wallace
Khari Johnson Kelin Burrle
Nick Turner
Jacorrei Turner
Jaqualin McGhee
Colin Sutherland
JT Towers
Jerry Jacobs
Levi Draper
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Wow. That is eye opening. Nice research.

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There’s been a lot of talk about whether its talent (recruiting) or coaching. I’ll weigh in and say its both. I don’t know that it’s entirely fair to compare the program to Alabama (or Georgia now). Saban has constructed one of the greatest dynasties ever. It’s fortunate for them, but unfortunate for everyone else. We’re stuck until he retires. So is most everyone else. Better talent will help close the gap. Then that talent has to be developed. There is so little margin for error. He’ll retire at some point, and the chances of that program continuing at that high of a level is slim to none. Look at LSU, Florida, FSU (back in the day), etc. etc. They all had limited great runs, and have the resources to be great consistently. But they’re not. We need stability, and a few more years of better than average recruiting.

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If you look at the long history of Razorback football its inconceivable that Joe Ferguson and Lamar McCann are the only QBs that became regular NFL starters. Get and develop a Heisman caliber QB and our fortunes might change

Good research. Note, too, in 2021 we signed three DBs: Parker (mentioned by coaches as pushing for PT but so far limited to special teams play), Lowery (now hidden in the WR depth chart), and Jayden Johnson (an able contributor). In 2022, we signed two DBs in Brown and Lewis, and its way too early to know anything about them other then they must be lonely in the DB room! I am counting HS players, but portal additions of Gordon (special teams only), Brini (able contributor), and Nudie (best DB now) have not added significantly.

Bodies matter. Every team has players not work out. But, you can’t be short in the depth chart because you inadvertently never recruited a position. Our DB situation is partly Foucha and Brooks surprising us by transferring, and Bishop and Catalon injuries.

Similar issue at TE, really.

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This is spot on. Our QB play has largely been mediocre to bad over the years. Slight exceptions. But there is a reason Arkansas doesn’t produce NFL quarterbacks — we’ve had so so college quarterbacks.

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I agree to a point, but the fact that someone does not succeed in the pros does not necessarily mean that they were mediocre college quarterbacks. Two SEC quarterbacks, Tim
Tebow and Pat Sullivan, won
Heismans but did not succeed in the pros. For us, Bill Montgomery and Ryan Mallet, among others, were excellent QBs but did not succeed in the pros. To me the yardstick of how good a college QB is is what they did in college.

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Its been a long time since I’ve seen a truly consistent and tough Razorback defense. Stoerner, Lunney, Mallett, Brandon Allen, Tyler Wilson, KJ, all good enough IF they’re backed up by a pretty stout defense. The weaker the defense, the more the QB (and offense) has to carry and we end up trying to win shootouts, which isn’t sustainable. Look at the doodoo quarterbacks LSU has won with in the past. And not to open another argument, but its the same reason CBP was probably not ever going to beat Bama (and LSU at the time, Georgia now). Anytime you rely on a shootout, the offense usually blinks before the opposing defense does. McFadden could pull it off tho…

While a great quarterback is obviously a great hedge against other deficiencies, I would think having a consistently good offensive line and good defense would be my focus, since I don’t see us or many teams always having a superstar quarterback. Like stated in a previous post, we have had some pretty good teams without a first round draft pick at quarterback, but they were pretty sound teams on defense and o-line.

Absolutely. And I know 1000% that CSP and Odom are or have watched the tape and know what we need. The question is can they make what is there this year better and bring in some better talent for next year(s). CBB was too slow to realize and/or incapable of getting what he needed to consistently win the SEC.

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