State of the Hogs: New Approach to O-Line Recruiting

Here’s a front-page commentary about Arkansas O-line recruiting and the way it changed this season:

http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2017 … recruitin/

this is good work Clay. I am a firm believer it all starts up front on both sides of the ball, so this was very exciting for me to read.

I know that offensive line play is the most critical area on the team. It’s the toughest to get right. And, it causes the most ills when it’s not right. When it is clicking in the offensive line, everything else becomes easy. I do not think it’s a coincidence that the Dallas Cowboys are so much better now after drafting well in the OL. It’s key.

Now, defensive line play is just as critical. It must be good, too. When you are good up front on offense, though, it generally trickles over to the DL in some way, too.

that was a great article Clay,You are exactly right the OL is the toughest position to coach in football(DB’s next) because you can 4 pancake blocks and the guy who got beat allowed a negative yard play and the fans thught the OL sucked on the play.

The Ol is a position that takes time for a unit to play as one becasue their is just so much they have to learn and anticiipate presnap and be able to adjust as the play unfolds,this doesnt happen in one yr with a young OL especially in this conference,

I like our change in recruting because it a man’s game up front if you dont believe me look at the old NFL tapes where the microphone is on the OL and it sounds like a war zone among the Ol/DL,not for the faint of heart or for the pretty boys.

The OL is made up of mean people you know the type who will knock you down and spit on you on the way back to the huddle(sorry if that offended anyone,ujst keeping it real).I think this is what we are looking for now and I am excited to see how it all shakes it but like I said it will take time!

I’d like to know if there are present OL on the team that we may reasonably expect to transfer or quit, based on the comments, or “new” criteria, of CBB? Didn’t he directly say that non-believers will no longer have a place on the team?

I would not expect that reasonably. That could always happen. It will be a tough winter program, as you might expect. I think the idea is to test mental toughness. Also, if you are getting passed by younger players, some do get the idea they are not going to play.

Clay , what do you think about Fro and Zach Rogers? Both Redshirt Sophs in that same class as Colton Jackson… I would like to see these guys, Esp Fro Merrick make a move this spring. Seems like we heard that Fro was making a move late this past season. If Gibbson makes a move out to LT, A right side of Merrick and Wallace could be nasty!!! I like a nasty OL way more then a “sexy” OL…

Neither a Rogers or Merrick were mentioned by Bielema on Monday. Both have been around long enough to be factors but neither have been on field for many game snaps.

I say horse-radish. If the blue-collar type was BB’s preference for OL then why was he not recruiting those for the last four classes. He does have the last call on approving recruiting offers, I am certain.

Another diversion effort for stinking it up in 2016?

While if you post anything negative on these boards you get attacked, i have to agree.

I think it’s a tactic of coach speak that will clear so many of questioning his recruits, because ‘they love the game’.
I love the game but I couldn’t block a SEC DE. Ha ha

Regardless I do think Wagner and Clemons are decent gets. It remains to be seen though, but if a 5 star said he wanted to come here BB and staff would have a parade so let’s not act like he’s only looking for diamonds in the rough.

I took it that the “love the game” referenced players that were NOT Prima Donnas. Some of the guys we signed the first few years were highly rated but may have loved ME more than team. I agree they will take a 5 star if possible…but it may be screened to insure he isn’t a prima donna.

[quote=“Saimne77”]

While if you post anything negative on these boards you get attacked, i have to agree.

I think it’s a tactic of coach speak that will clear so many of questioning his recruits, because ‘they love the game’.
I love the game but I couldn’t block a SEC DE. Ha ha

Regardless I do think Wagner and Clemons are decent gets. It remains to be seen though, but if a 5 star said he wanted to come here BB and staff would have a parade so let’s not act like he’s only looking for diamonds in the rough.
[/quote]I guess when reading something it all starts with the filter one is reading through. Obviously there are some whose filters are more receptive to Coach B’s message and others who might have minds already going in another direction. Your post mentions that this may be coach speech and others had different takes on it, but it seemed to make some sense to me, that offensive linemen are often times built around tactical expertise, tenacity and work ethic. The highly regarded kids coming out of High School are often ranked on measurables and brief observations at camps and of course High School competition. The number one national recruit as a OL this year, at least in some rankings, played in a small classification in West Tennessee. So what are the chances this five star was head and shoulders bigger than his competition and that his translation to college (SEC) competition could be overstated? So the Arkansas staff could be looking deeper into some intangibles or other attributes that may better reflect the ability and desire to be coached and improve. Does this eliminate ratings, no–it just says maybe one does not rely too heavily on the stars.

Reality is, with these Razorback club meetings, we want to hear reasons for excitement and optimism, so we should not be either shocked or hypercritical when we hear these reasons and certainly take with some element of a grain of salt.

[quote=“KeithGuthrie”]

And so it was, along with a heaping measure of frustration.

You may be on to something … !!!

Texas had years of highly rated prima donnas. The results were way less than expected.

ADG, that is an excellent anecdotal thought. Today’s youth are way more narcissistic than any generation before it. Social media has created a monster. The number of head cases in today’s youth is frightening. The other issue is that many kids don’t know what work and effort are. College coaches are having trouble with it, but can you imagine how bad it must be for High School coaches? Many HS coaches can’t overcome the player much less the local access of the parents.

This is what has impacted recruiting for all coaches, unless you are at Nick Saban’s level of prestige driven respect. Today’s head case 4 and 5 star players are not great fits at every school.