October 25, 2014

Loading Up

As always, it’ll be a big day on Thursday when Razorback football players report for fall practice.  But, as hard as it is to believe, there’s a story that’s been unfolding over the last few weeks that’s even bigger.

As of today (and the numbers seem to be going up by the hour), there are 19 players verbally committed to sign with the Hogs as part of the football recruiting class of 2008.

Houston Nutt (AP Photo/Beth Hall)To put that number in perspective, a year ago on August 1, 2006, there were just eight players committed to the 2007 class.  The Hogs didn’t receive their 19th commitment until mid-January.  This year…heck…in just the last two weeks, ten players have committed to play for the Hogs.  Wow.

How do these numbers compare to the rest of the conference?  According to Rivals.com:  Kentucky currently has two commitments and Florida has four.  South Carolina has five and Auburn has seven.  Tennessee has eight, Vanderbilt has 11 and Alabama has 13.  LSU and Mississippi State have 14 each and Georgia has 17.  Only Ole Miss has more commitments than the Hogs with 20.

We’ll leave it to the recruiting gurus to explain all of this.  Quantity and quality, of course, are not the same.  (Although there are arguably several top notch players who are now committed.)  But no matter how you look at it, the sheer number making early verbal commitments to the Hogs this year is a dramatic difference from years past.

You can read more about many of the new Razorback football recruits in the RBN Recruiting News section.

  • Mike in Magnolia

    Who would have ever thought that HDN could have such a good recruiting year. How is this even possible with all the distractions that have been going on around the program. You would have thought that that alone would have run every kid off especially those in the State. Make go hmmmmmmm . This is so stinkin exciting, GO HOGS GO

  • Mike in Magnolia

    Can’t wait to see how how the Nutt haters are going to spin this.

  • Terry in Benton

    I am so glad football season is here!!! Now MAYBE, the 10% haters can go hide there heads in a hole while we root on them hogs. Go HDN!!

  • OwassoHog

    Mike, I’m not a Nutt hater but definitely not a lover either. I see him as an average coach is a tough league. Having said that… it appears that you are the one “spinning” the recruiting. Take a look at Rivals Top 100 (http://rivals100.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?SID=880&Year=2008&ra_key=1803). What do you find in this list? Lots of other SEC schools – either picked or in consideration. How many times is Arkansas mentioned as in consideration? Let me help you answer this – 3 times (#37, #68, and #95). I lost track of how many times other SEC schools were mentioned.

    Bottom line is that making the Top 100 doesn’t make you a great coach or a good recruiter but it does provide some level of measuring up against other schools. Our recruiting just doesn’t cut it with the top players and since we are consistently in the Top 10 in the polls, we aren’t taking average players and getting quality teams that show we are getting overlooked players either.

    Yes, we have recruits but just having a team show up is going to cut it.

  • BlindHog

    I’m no hater. My three complaints with Dale are his lack of honesty and integrity, his complete failure at QB, and his oh so close wait until next year results.

    But, it must be said that this is a good sign. Dale is working harder, we are coming off a 10 win season, it is a good year for in state recruiting, we are going to lose a lot of starters next year which is a big draw for kids looking for playing time, and we have the Heisman exposure and placed several kids in the pros. It is no mystery. As Owasso says we aren’t getting any national respect with these kids but we never do. Any recruiting class is a crap shoot. Jamal Anderson was an after thought, Peyton Hillis was supposed to be a tailback, Darren was supposed to get a look at safety.

    It is good to have some good news to start an interesting year. You would have to be a hater not to want the Hogs to do very well. But facts are still facts. We are one year removed from back to back disaster and 3 great breaks away from a 7-6 year a year ago. We have tons of potential and some pretty big question marks.

    It should be a fun ride with a couple of breaks and a bit of a passing game. I’ll give you a:

    GO HOGS!!!!!

  • Hawgfan100

    Not a hater or a hugger but our recruiting numbers are nothing if not impressive. Scout.com has us rated 17th overall (our 19th verbal commitment boosted us over Wisconsin today) and there are only four SEC teams ahead of us so far. With all the crap HDN has taken over not being able to recruit (especially in state; however see the Warren and Camden recruits) and all the ‘Doom/Gloomers’ predicting poor numbers on our 2008 recruiting, well, like my grandma likes to say: “Some people just need to hush.” ;^)

  • BelAirHawg

    I don’t hate Dale, I do think he and his antics would fair much nicer in a Mid-Major Conference. However I think that our recruiting is kind of an optical illusion at this point. Dale’s usual work is a average of 2.9 Stars and the results below:

    …………6-yr avg….this year

    4-stars……..4…………4

    3-stars…….15………..11

    2-stars……..7…………5

    This year our average is currently 2.89 which follows the trend of recent years. Now I’m not trying to take anything away from the coaches, as it is obvious that we are more “on the ball” this year than in recent memory, I’m just showing that we’re having the same results as usual, but we’re getting guys committed earlier than later..

  • Defense Wins Champio

    Enjoy it and settle back and enjoy the ride! And if you wish, look at the facts. Houston has done what most other teams could not do to win the West with a huge chance to have beaten Florida with their so called 4 and 5 stars in the SEC Championship game. If you believe in the star ratings, then you have to rate Houston as the best coach in the nation, bare none. With USC’s team being all 4’s and 5’s it means that if you believe the stars, then Carroll is absolutely the most overrated coach in the nation. And I am not saying that the stars do not mean anything. However, what is obvious is that Houston and his assistants do a better job of rating talent for their needs and motivating their talent than any other coach in the nation.

    I am not surprised that Houston and his assistants are having a good year in recruiting. The players know Houston’s character better than any blogger will ever know since most bloggers are so far outside his circle they have no clue about his character and those players who know his character are selling Houston and his program to the recruits. Never over look that fact! The players who truly wanted to be Razorbacks make all the difference in the world. Attitude will sink you or will make you soar, be it in sports or any business. It amazes me that these few Razorback critics keep overlooking the fact that Houston did what he did with the team last year with his hands literally tied behind his back by the NCAA of which he had no part in the problem that was handed to him. We the true fans turned out to congratulate him and his fine staff and his players, and contribute and buy tickets, while the few critics were playing the blame game. Attitude is important in every facet of life. You can choose to stink up a room or choose to brighten the room!!

  • Mike in Magnolia

    Thank you DWC great observation. The only point I was making was that with everything that has happened its amazing we could go to Fulmer country and get the Warren kids then down the road to Camden and get theor kids as well. I think we have made great strides in our recruiting this year. When I looked at the rivals rankings yesterday I thought it said we were 14? 14-17 thats better than 32. Which with everythign that has gone on I was expecting a ranking somewhere on the upper 90’s

  • GonzoHog

    I think it’s pretty amazing that our best recruits are probably the ones who have not committed to a school yet. Most big time recruits wait until late January, or early Febuary to make a final decision. We still have 1 in state to try and get, and 2 more out of state the Hogs really like.

  • GonzoHog

    I don’t exspect Tennessee’s ranking of #41, and Florida’s #44 to last forever, but it is still suprising that they are still that low, even this early. The Vols have 7 commits, with 2 of them being a “soft verbal”. Florida has only 5 verbals. The Vols have only one 4 star recruit, five 3 stars, and one 2 star so far, while the Gators have only 3 star recruits. USC seems to be doing well at #7. The Trojans have an abundance of 4 and 5 star recruits right in thier own back yard. Pretty easy to recruit big time recruits, when they grow up next door.

  • T-towner

    Pat Jones was the intro speaker for Houston Nutt at the Tulsa Razorback Club in February (?). He said that Tennessee is all 4 and 5 star recruits and he wanted to know why, if the stars have it, Arkansas kicked Tennessee’s ass so bad in November. Funny, but also a fact of life. I did not see our 2.9 stars get played off the field by anyone except USC (West). I think quality Arkansas high school players seldom get the national respect they deserve, but Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tennessee have a history of picking our pockets—-until this year!

  • OwassoHog

    Guys, I have no problems with 2.9 stars…. just name the LAST team that had them and won the National Championship! I’ll give partial credit for a SEC Championship.

  • Pingback: loading up at RazorPress

  • GonzoHog

    It takes time to build a legitmate big time program. I think, even though it has not been fast enough for a lot of fans, the Hogs are slowly coming around to something good. Maybe great. I just believe when your location is Arkansas, rather than say Southern California, Florida, Texas, or even Ohio, it is much, much,harder to recruit, especially when you have a limited budget for traveling exspenses as we have here. We have to be much more selective than the bigger “name” schools, that have much more to spend, while we are compeating with them at the same time.

  • BelAirHawg

    I may be wrong but don’t we have one of the top recruiting budgets in the SEC? I believe I gathered that knowledge via some Nutt bashing thread on Hogville. Anyway, being a college student I don’t see why places like Gainesville, Norman or where ever West Virginia plays is more appealing than Fayetteville. Yes LA and Austin are great places to be, but before Pete Carroll and before Mac Brown had Vince Young, those places were not powerhouse programs and underachievers. Even during the Ron Zook era Florida wasn’t much to deal with. I am an avid Razorback fan, but clearly it is the COACH that makes the program, not the program making the coach. It seems to me that to many Hog Fans look to the “but we’re just Arkansas” excuse when it comes down to things like being a solid program; while places like Oklahoma Iowa, West Virginia, and Florida realize that a great coach can take them to the next level. Like I said I love the Hogs, but I want them to commit to winning and right now we’re committed to winning the games we can and being alright with losing those we expect too.

  • BlindHog

    Texas and Florida are the big recruiting grounds. Louisiana is big enough for LSU and then some. Mississippi is not that bad for the population size.

    Texas can only sign 25 every year. Oklahoma has the draw to pick up some of the top kids. Texas A&M, Baylor and Tech will get their share of Texas kids. But Arkansas has a history and tradition with Texas kids and the SEC as a big draw for top talent.

    Arkansas will produce 10 D-1 kids a year and Eastern Oklahoma, Northern Louisiana, and Mississippi are all available to us.

    Recruiting 25 top kids to Arkansas a year should not be a problem. Danny Ford did it, he just couldn’t coach them. Recruiting should not be a problem here.

    This is about the coaches and the program. BelAir is right. Dale was happy with 10 wins instead of realiziing that he really didn’t win anything. He either needs to get with the program or we need to find someone who wants to win. We cannot settle any more. Dale has laid a decent foundation. He either needs to build on it or get out of the way and let someone else do the job.

  • BlindHog

    OK, I take it back, at least the tone. It is not so much put or shut up as Its time. Everyone knows its time.

    Ok, it was Frank’s fault that the recruiting took a two year detour and Dale was given a pass. It was Frank’s fault again that just as he was about to cash his pass he found himself in the middle of a PR nightmare. Ok, so he shouldn’t have lost a few during the off years that would have made everyone feel a little better. He didn’t handle the PR nightmare well, no, not well at all. But, in truth, except for Frank, he is pretty much right on track. So, do we wait until next year or the year after? Possibly. Or do you do it with Darren?

    So, good luck Dale, Go hogs! I’m reformed. I’m a hugger.

  • http://www.razorbloggers.net/ HogBlogger

    Defense – don’t underestimate the amount of insight that some bloggers have into ‘his circle’. . . . .you’d be amazed.

  • Defense Wins Champio

    One thing in life that one can always count on…I say always… and that is that boo birds always will be boo birds….they make a career out of it both at works and at play. Just like the wretched ink at the Dem-Zet. That wretched ink sits back until the slightest little thing goes wrong with the team or coaches and he jumps on it to sell papers and to blow it up and out of proportion and add innuendoes. And the boo birds are always there to cheer the wretched ink on as he spreads his venom. Must be miserably to live ones life like that trying to trash people rather than lift them up. It is every one’s choice, to either be a booster or a boo bird. Perhaps, boo birds just have it too ingrained into their character to do otherwise.

  • BlindHog

    Thanks for the support Defense. I feel much better.