Arkansas' football coaching staff is certainly not downplaying how important the next two-plus months are to their football program.
After going on a long losing streak and now having a better assessment of the talent on hand, the Razorbacks coaches will hit the road Saturday for 14 straight days after finishing up the season at LSU on Friday.
It is the first time in eight years that first-year Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be taking a team to a bowl as he did all seven of his campaigns at Wisconsin.
It sets up a very critical time for the Razorbacks per on-campus recruiting coordinator Chris Hauser.
"The next two months are the most critical in Bret Bielema's tenure so far here at Arkansas because we have to use this time to focus on our recruiting," Hauser said. "We have to outwork other people to get the recruits that we want and need to come in and take our program to the level that we need.
"We have to look at this as our bowl game even though we are not playing anybody," Hauser added.
It is a time where Arkansas will be visiting both its 17 current commitments and those who could best fill the remaining 8 spots in the class.
It's no secret that the Razorbacks need and would like to add more linebackers and secondary members to the 2014 class and are openly going after both uncommitted prospects and those committed to other schools at those positions.
It's also no secret that Arkansas would like to get as many mid-term graduates into school as possible with Boliver, Mo., quarterback Rafe Peavey and Marietta, Ga., Lassiter cornerback Chris Murphy having already signed financial letters of agreement with the Razorbacks.
Shreveport, La., Evangel wideout Jared Cornelius will sign his agreement on Dec. 15 and there are at least five other mid-term prospects Arkansas could have in for visits on the weekends of Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-15.
Bielema says he expects to add two more mid-term signees in the next couple of weeks.
The coaches will hit the road Saturday with some of the known visits including running backs coach Joel Thomas checking in on Razorback offensive line pledge Jovan Pruitt of Dallas, Texas, Bishop Dunne on Sunday and Razorback tight end coach Barry Lunney checking in on all of his in-state prospects, including Arkansas defensive end Jake Hall.
Randy Shannon, the Razorbacks' linebacker coach with ties to the Florida, is set to see Miami , Fla, Gulliver cornerback Cornelius Floyd and several other players in the Sunshine State.
Bielema is expected to see Palm Beach, Florida, Dwyer safety Shawn Boone on Monday.
Arkansas wide receiver coach Michael Smith will be seeing Arkansas commits Torrance Mosley of Geismar, La., Dutchtown and Corey McBride on Monday as well as checking in on the four other Louisiana guys that he has gotten pledges for the Razorbacks.
Here are the Arkansas coaches and the recruiting areas they are assigned:
• Chris Ash - Northern part of Texas, Southern California JCs, Chicago and Eastern Texas?
• Jim Chaney - Missouri, Tennessee, Northeast Arkansas and Memphis?
• Sam Pittman - Oklahoma, Kansas, JCs in Kansas, North Dallas and Fort Worth up the Oklahoma border?
• Charlie Partridge - Wisconsin, Broward County and Palm Beach County in Florida and also has Pittsburgh area?
• Randy Shannon - Dade County, Fort Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Northern part of Atlanta and Mobile, Ala., area?
• Michael Smith - Louisiana, South Dallas, Texas JCs, Southern part of Houston
• Joel Thomas - The state of Washington, East Dallas, East Texas and Northern California JCs
• Barry Lunney, Jr. - Arkansas and Northeast corner of Texas
• Taver Johnson - Georgia and Ohio
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