Arkansas’ 2018 recruiting class is near completion with 12 commitments. That leaves just two spots left to fill, a number that may increase in the coming months.
Recruiting never stops, though. So, there’s still plenty to be done on the recruiting trail throughout the month of September.
Each month until the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, SEC Country will outline the three most important items on the Hogs’ recruiting to-do list for the coming weeks. Here’s what is on the agenda for September.
Winning is the quickest way to improve recruiting. In the SEC, every school has nice facilities, talented recruiters and the ability to sell playing in college football’s top conference. Victories can truly set a program apart from the others. That’s the primary reason Alabama has been a fixture near the top of the recruiting rankings.
If the Hogs are going to win big enough to impress recruits, it starts in September. In fact, it may be the most important month of the season in terms of impressing top recruits.
Arkansas plays two of the top teams in Texas — TCU (Sept. 9) and Texas A&M (Sept. 23) — during the month. Wins over both would be huge for impressing recruits in the Lone Star State, and the Hogs often go head-to-head with both schools on the recruiting trail.
Make the visits count
Speaking of the TCU game, it’ll be the first opportunity Arkansas has to host a long list of recruits. It may even be the top home game this season depending on how good Auburn and Mississippi State turn out to be. Hosting Missouri the day after Thanksgiving isn’t likely to bring in many recruits.
Most of the visitors should be 2018 commits and 2019 targets. It’s not currently expected any of the top remaining 2018 targets — Nicholas Fulwider, Luke Ford, Glenn Beal, Gerry Bohanon Jr., Jerome Carvin or Joseph Foucha — will visit that weekend.
Still, a positive game-day experience during a marquee matchup can go a long way with the recruits who will be there. Arkansas’ 31-10 win over Florida, which was ranked No. 10 at the time, last November is a perfect example. The visitors that day included linebacker Bumper Pool (2018 commit), cornerback Byron Hanspard II (2018 commit), cornerback Kamren Curl (2017 signee) and outside linebacker Kyrei Fisher (2017 signee). None were committed at the time, but that weekend played a role in all of them deciding to be Razorbacks.
The matchup with TCU has the potential to be the Florida game of this year from a recruiting standpoint.
Take advantage of the schedule
September will be the best month of the season for the coaching staff to evaluate prospects at games. They must take advantage, as coach Bret Bielema recently indicated they intend to.
Opening the season Thursday allows the staff more freedom to travel and hit high school games Friday, the first day of a three-month evaluation period. They’ll have the same luxury two weeks later with an early bye week. A week later, the Texas A&M game being in Arlington, Texas, gives the Hogs a perfect chance to see some top recruits in the Dallas area Friday night.
It’ll be interesting to see how the coaching staff opts to take advantage of these opportunities the early-season schedule presents.
The post Arkansas football: The Razorbacks’ recruiting to-do list for September appeared first on SEC Country.
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