Knowing that it needs to infuse the current roster with some talent, toughness and tenacity, Arkansas' football coaches are on the recruiting road today looking for athletes that fit that mold while trying to maintain the 17 commits in the 2014 class.
So says Razorback on-campus recruiting coordinator Chris Hauser, who notes head coach Bret Bielema and his staff will be in Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri as they recruit Monday and this weekend.
"I think first and foremost we have to recruit and keep the guys that we believe will come in ready to compete in the SEC physically and have the mindset to do so," Hauser said Monday morning. "That is an absolute necessity and something we are committed to doing. We need size, speed and skill."
"We are in this for the long haul and we are going to dig our way out of these together and the right way," Hauser added. "We knew what we were getting into and like Coach Bielema says we will build something special and build it the right way."
Arkansas (3-5, 0-4), riding a five-game losing streak into this bye week, has given up 104 unanswered points in losses to South Carolina (52-7) and No. 1 Alabama (52-0).
The coaches are recruiting Monday, Friday and Saturday while having practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this open week.
"Obviously these last two weeks we haven't played well and we know that we have to recruit our way out of this and also develop the players that we have here," Hauser said. "The one thing that we can sell is that you can come play for us right away."
Hauser notes that the current Razorback staff showed its ability to land talent after arriving on campus last December and has made it clear that it will play young guys right away if they are ready.
"We need to bring in some of the same type guys we did in December – guys that are ready to make an impact right away," Hauser said. "Guys like (tight end) Hunter Henry, (tailback) Alex Collins, (offensive linemen) Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland.
"Those guys may have lacked college football experience, but have talent, desire, heart and hate losing," Hauser said. "All of them have shown they will compete to the last whistle no matter the situation."
Arkansas is certainly looking for guys that can start next season or at least make the guy in front of them the best he can be due to competition at each position.
"That's a big key," Hauser said. "We have to bring in kids that can help us immediately or they will push a current starter to never take a play off or no he will be replaced.
"We have to look all over the country for those kids," Hauser added. "The right kids with the right character."
It's no secret that the Razorback staff needs to maintain the 17 current prospects that currently are pledged for 2014.
"Coach Bielema will be in touch with every one of those kids this week," Hauser said. "We want them to understand that while these last three or four weeks have been tough, but we have a belief in what we are doing and how we are doing it.
"It is key that we make them understand that they may not be physically be inside the walls with us here yet, but they are a part of our family and we will get this done together," Hauser added.
"It's a process and it takes some patience, but it takes our coaches, our current players and our future ones coming together to make it happen," Hauser continued. "Great times are ahead. We just have to fight through this now and work hard for it to happen."
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