Sam Pittman press conference notes – NSD edition

Sam Pittman is scheduled to speak to reporters at 3 p.m. about Arkansas’ signing class. Updates will be posted here.

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Found this on Twitter… not a bad looking list so far.
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Interesting that only 2 players are from Arkansas. I do not know if that’s an indication on the poor state of HS football in Arkansas or not. Just not use to see that if I remember correctly. I do know I’ve always heard that its rather difficult to build a program if you don’t have much in the way of homegrown talent… those growing up bleeding Razorback Red and wanting to be Hogs.

• Pittman opens by thanking Arkansas’ recruiting staff and helping assemble the class. Signed 19 high school players and 4 from the portal. Sixteen of the 23 signees are coming in early, so in January. In the top 25 on 247 Sports and 17th on Rivals. Excited about the guys coming in. Still have another guy or two we’re on in high school, and the rest of the scholarships will be used on the portal.

• On the portal kids: Andrew Armstrong, the receiver, is big and strong. Super kid. We need help there at receiver, and some older help. We were obviously excited about him. Josh Braun, I recruited him at Georgia. He’s played a lot of ball and over 800 snaps at Florida. I knew him family and knew what we were getting with him. Jacolby Criswell, I got him. I didn’t get him the first time. We’re really glad about getting him. John Morgan, I really like his tape. Really dynamic player who came in last weekend and said he wanted to join us today.

• On Criswell: He’s a great kid with great folks who take care of him. He’s so mature and he loves Arkansas. When he got in the portal, he immediately contacted us. We were ecstatic about him and knew we needed to upgrade at quarterback, so we did. He wants to play and knows he’s going to have to compete here. We needed him. Really happy he decided to come back.

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• On QB Malachi Singleton: I really liked him. I thought he fit us well. It was about toughness. He can throw it, but I like his competitiveness and toughness. He gets right up after getting rocked by defensive guys. He’ll be a good player here for us.

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• I think we need to get another lineman, we need to get a tight end. Wide receiver, we may need 2-3 more, and defensive backs, we need a few. I really like our linebackers. We just don’t have any depth right now with guys leaving and going to the NFL. I think we’ve got the pass rusher that will help the pass rushers we have now. May need another big guy on the interior.

• Keeping the class together: Kids have a right to do what they want to. Only disappointing thing is we found out late on some, and some of it was about coaching changes. I get it. I’m not blaming anyone. I’m happy for the guys who decided to go somewhere else. I wish them the best.

• On John Morgan: He plays extremely hard all the time. He’s had a lot of production in his career and decided for whatever reason to leave Pitt. It wasn’t because of anything negative. I really like him because I think he can get after the quarterback.

• More on Morgan: Deke Adams liked him and set up a meeting. When he got here, I think he really liked it. When he got here, we had not hired a DC yet. We hired Travis Williams and he got on the phone with Morgan. Williams had a big part to do with him coming here. Adams did the grunt work on it, and me and Williams tried to close it out.

• Pittman said Ian Geffrard, who is around 6-6 and 365 pounds, did a handstand and once walked around on his hands a good while when he visited once. Pittman was floored and said he wanted him, even if it took 2 scholarships, he joked.

• Meal stories during the recruiting process: We went 5 in-homes in one day, and I like to eat. That’s a beast. After No. 3, you loosen a belt loop, then you’ve got 2 more to go. A lot of fun, a lot of eating, a lot of travel. He joked that he tried a salad for the first time in an in-home visit. The families were incredibly nice. It’s important to go into these homes and learn about them. I feel like we need to know where they come from so we can help them more.

• On Isaiah Augustave: His style was a slicer. Speed guy. His offense in high school was Wing T-ish. He was fast and tough, and he was Arkansas. I was a little worried about him because he was getting more and more attention and his stars were going up. We hit the jackpot on this one, too. The physicality of his runs, I like him. He’s going to be a big back that has speed. I think he’s perfect for what we do offensively.

• On Joey Su’a: I love his mom and dad. The word that comes to mind with him is “easy.” They stayed true to us. Very religious family. Really good feet, and there are a lot of positives with him. Very athletic for his size. I think he’ll be a fine player for us.

• More on Su’a: He moved in. … He committed around 6 a.m. a while back. When I was at UNC, a kid said I’m going to make my decision tomorrow. I told him to call me as early as he could. He called me at 12:01 a.m. to commit, and I was on vacation. I was happy, but I was a little mad, too, he joked.

By my reckoning there are 13 4* players on our signed list.

Shamar Easter is still out there and #1 in our state but is now waiting until February and is still committed to us for now. I think he just wanted to get to know the TE coach more. Hopefully we can hang on to him and if so that would make 3 from the state.

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