…if the previous head coach was a better recruiter than a coach. Bret was not that kind of coach. Ford had great talent that Nutt inherited. Petrino had the three future pros at Warren already committed to Arkansas when he came on board and in the only recruiting “tadaa” moment of his regime, he got Joe Adams to flip from USCw.
Grant Garrett knows talent and he says Morris had almost no talent at a large number of positions when he took on the Arkansas rebuilding process. With no time to recruit initially, this last class was his first class of recruits at Arkansas. He did very well for Arkansas and OK for the SEC in that class and there are 6-10 new freshmen who can help this year. That means they are better than who we have returning at their positions but nowhere near ready to excel against equally or greater talented players with 2-3 years of seasoning that are all over the SEC. So, instant success is not walking thru that door anytime soon. They are holding this team together with bailing wire and band aids. They are trying trick plays but they work lots better when the other guy isn’t sure that’s all you got since nothing else is working. Our most talented quarterback makes more mistakes than our less talented quarterback. Going to take time to fix that. We are thin on defense with true freshmen playing very important positions and SEC offenses are very good at attacking those kind of weak links. And there is little depth to handle injuries and you can see the results of that on the field.
So, they will try hard to overcome these problems and they won’t go away just because some fans think “we got plenty of talent, it is just the wrong coaches…again.”
This staff is getting very good players at places Arkansas has not recruited well recently (Memphis and Texas) to visit and consider us. If we give them time and support, they can fix the talent wasteland that is Arkansas football currently. If our idiot fringe of fans start going nuts, like they did when Nutt was run off, then they may in the future be looking back, again, with the nagging doubt that they might have made a mistake…again. JMVVVVHO
I know you are right about a lot of this (if not all). However, I am despondent about our future as BB let us get so bad, and our built in disadvantages are so many, I am just no longer sure we can ever pull out of it. If this season goes as bad as it might, I am not sure any staff can recruit well enough to get us back to “not a bad team” much less back to “a good team.”
You may be right but, if you aren’t, this staff appears to have a better chance of pulling this off than our last 2-3 staffs. They may not manage the clock as well as we like but I think they have shown they can recruit at a high, for Arkansas, level.
None of us know whether this HC or staff will make us an elite program again or if they’ll fail completely, but you’re absolutely right about last year & this one. It’s impossible to fairly judge them by results in their first two years. I’m not sure the 3rd year can tell us much. We just have to hope for improvement. I think we’re seeing that. We need another good recruiting class. It doesn’t have to be great in terms of star-rankings, but it needs to be at least a legit top 25 national ranking class. The staff seems to be recruiting well.
I think it can be done. Recruiting and development are important. It does not happen over night. Gone are the days of bringing in 60 a year like they did in the 60s. Yes, Frank could and did sign 60 players in the spring, then cut about 30 in the first week of camp. Or, they matriculated on to Arkansas Tech, UCA and Southern State.
Very well said and every bit true. Patience is thin around here though, by that I mean the Arkansas fan base as a whole.
The talent is coming in at skill positions but not where the big boys are yet. We have got to get some eye popping Oline talent, maybe not across the board but a few real studs.
I like some of the youngsters in the offensive line, but it takes longer for that position to develop than any place else. Yes, there are some Shawn Andrews in the world, but not many. I would say he’s probably the only player in the history of the Arkansas program that could and was an instant star as a true freshman offensive lineman.
I recall well the 1972 freshmen group (and I think my year is correct) when Greg Koch, R.C. Thielemann and Gerald Skinner came in and had to play. They were really good as seniors. But they got knocked around as true freshmen.
Offensive linemen at Arkansas traditionally take three to four years to be developed. I don’t think that’s much different any place outside of maybe Alabama.
In the last class, I think there were good evaluations and these players will develop nicely. And, you added Luke Jones, who will be a player as soon as he’s eligible. Myron Cunningham is a rare talent. Ricky Stromberg is better than anyone believed when he committed. I’ll probably write something about him this week that explains some detail on how he got to Arkansas. He was committed to Tulsa when he flipped, but I am told that he was probably going to Oklahoma as a grey shirt when that happened. Oklahoma would have really liked to have gotten him.