Arkansas not expecting to ‘play the hat game’ in recruiting

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss when commits are expected to sign, how coach Bret Bielema feels about the 2018 class and more.

Coach Bret Bielema believes every commit will sign in December

Arkansas fans shouldn’t expect any drama on National Signing Day Feb. 7 if all goes according to plan.

Coach Bret Bielema recently told reporters he’s anticipating every committed recruit in the 2018 class will officially sign by the early signing day period Dec. 20-22. The Razorbacks currently have 12 players committed to the class with the expectation of having two or three more spots to fill.

“We don’t play that hat game on signing day,” Bielema said. “So we’ll use January kind of as our new May, to go out and recruit the entire month. So it kind of escalates everything up a little bit.”

The 2018 class marks the first year in which all high school recruits will be allowed to sign a National Letter of Intent in December. Previously, those who graduated early could sign a financial aid agreement and enroll for the spring semester. A December signing window for junior college transfers has been in place for several years.

Bret Bielema impressed with 2018 class

The 2018 class is a unique one for the Razorbacks as they currently project to have 16 scholarship spots available. Two of those are believed to be reserved from blueshirts from the 2017 class.

So, that leaves 14 projected signees in the upcoming group. Arkansas’ five previous classes under Bielema all had at least 22 signees.

“It’s been fun from the standpoint it’s a small class, so you have to be very selective,” Bielema said. “I think our first five or six commits, not that I care about ratings, were all highly, highly rated kids. Not only on our boards, but nationally. This group seems to take a lot of pride in what they do together.”

The first four commits in the class were (and still are) 4-star recruits according to the 247Sports composite. One of those — tight end Luke Ford — de-committed from the Hogs three months after announcing his pledge in March. Bielema seems particularly pleased with how the rest of the class has come together despite no longer having Ford, who is the only de-commit from the group to this point.

“Even when one kind of fell the other way, the others rallied,” Bielema said, presumably referencing Ford’s de-commitment. “I like the way this class is building up and should be a typical class, but smaller in numbers.”

OLB target DaShaun White commits to Texas A&M

Arkansas received the commitment of its top target at outside linebacker when Maureese Wren pledged to the Hogs last week.

Before the Razorbacks zeroed in on Wren, 4-star prospect DaShaun White was perceived to be the top target at the position. White visited Arkansas in late April, at which time he received an offer from the Hogs. He held them among his top choices until announcing his commitment to Texas A&M on Sunday.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

The post Arkansas not expecting to ‘play the hat game’ in recruiting appeared first on SEC Country.

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