here is an explanation on why I think this is the best grid recruiting staff that I have been around in 35 years.
They are also more creative and relentless in their approach.
They make every call allowed by the NCAA, send texts, handwritten letters, make contact earlier, etc.
The head coach makes it clear how much he loves recruiting and kids whereas CBP absolutely detested it and routinely would go to cities (to appear as if he were recruiting), but not to actual schools and meet with the coaches and recruits.
He was in four high schools total in Arkansas in his entire tenure here per his assistants and high school coaches.
The current head coach was in more than that a week after he took the job.
There is beginning to be a body of work to judge things by, but metrics don’t know the whole story just as they don’t in major league baseball.
I judge it on talking to prospects and the reception of coaches by the recruits themselves, the schools Arkansas and what the landscape is like currently in the SEC West.
Take for example there were four kids on the Arkansas roster that had offers from Alabama or LSU when Bielema took over.
Petrino relied a lot on recruiting services I think. Then sent out letters and I suppose made a some calls to recruits. I think there were more than one HS Coach in AR that didn’t appreciate how BP treated their kids or his arrogance.
CBB is totally involved in the recruiting, means what he says to recruits, and any HS Coach or Parent usually going to give their stamp of approval to play for him. Doesn’t mean that all the kids want to play here, but we are getting a lot more 4 - 5 star recruits taking a look and visits than any other time that I can remember.
recruiting-wise that I disagreed the most with Coach Petrino on was this:
His stated philosophy - again per his assistants and high school coaches - was that if there was a player in Arkansas and one out-of-state that were regarded as equal talent, then he wanted to take the out-of-stater.
I highly doubt BP gave a crap about recruiting services and I can’t even imagine where you would have heard anything like that. In fact, he was, much like BB, known to like finding the guys who fit his system regardless of rankings.
As for highly rated kids visiting, BP got a ton of great kids to visit, he just didn’t close many out. Similar to what we have now in BB. Arkansas will never be a recruting power. Doesn’t mean we can’t have a winning program.
Whatever makes you guys feel better about Long firing one of the absolute elite college coaches in the country - an opportunity that we have lost will not happen again for us. You can try to convince us - or yourselves - that we are better off for it - come up with stuff like “Petrino couldn’t recruit” or “Petrino was a bad person”. Well, it didn’t look like Long thought he was a “bad person” when he was running onto the field to give Petrino hugs after big wins or trying to lock him down with long term contracts. Come up with all the red herrings you want, but the fact is in years 3 and 4 we finished top 10 and top 5 and were preseason top 10 going into the season that never was. But I guess that wasn’t “the right way” like Beliema is doing it - excuses and near misses must be “the right way”, right? Oh, and by the way, this is the 5th season Petrino has been gone and our best tight end, best receiver, one of our best dbs and several of our best defensive linemen are all Petrino recruits. Petrino knew talent better than “the experts”, so although the “experts” didn’t rate his classes highly, the proof is in the pudding. 10-3, 11-2, and I guess this “bad person” who “can’t recruit” is getting lucky again at Louisville (yeah right). (Ironic, don’t you think, that this bad person who can’t recruit was hired by his former boss first chance he got??). Keep pushing the narrative, because I don’t think people could endure more “almosts” and “next years” if they truly realized what we (Long) did to ourselves.
Jeff Long’s greatest accomplishment as AD (Petrino hire) happened in spite of his best efforts to hire Jim Grobe and Tommy Bowden, and even then, Jeff managed to blow it. Welcome to another generation of mediocrity, because that’s what Mr. Playoff Committee’s “leadership” go us.
Other than an irrelevant last second win over top ranked LSU in last game of the season, what big wins did CBP have? East Carolina in Liberty Bowl?
Against a weaker SEC schedule and BP’s record against ranked opponents wasn’t that good.
You mentioned a few of BP’s recruits still in our program. It has been that way since he left, only a few good ones remained. It takes more than a very few to win in this league these days. 5-6 years ago it could be done when we had Kentucky and Vandy on our schedules.
I pretty much agree with what you are saying and look forward to reading your tell all…as far as recruiting… CBB recruiting rankings are basically the same as CBP, so much for stars and recruiting rankings!