Solving The Mystery

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about Arkansas' 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes and the Razorback staff's quest to close the gap between it and the upper SEC squads.This story is free courtesy NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.



One of the best things about marrying my high school sweetheart on the same football field that I escorted her 30 years earlier at homecoming is getting to watch Law and Order together now.

  Neither Petra or I watched it in the 27 years we were apart so be it the original series that ran 20 years,  Law and Order: Criminal Intent or Law and Order: SUV, there's always one of the over 800 episodes on some channel or at least taped on the trusty DVR.

  We are both very competitive people so it's always a race to figure out who committed the crime before the detectives – who seemingly changed constantly over the year.

  I win the majority of these contests, but recently on one night after Christmas she figured it out first and I noted that "even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile."

  It was a saying that she had not heard before – and probably one that is going to come back and haunt me down the line.

  But to me this little game of ours is akin to recruiting – especially in the SEC.

Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee have over the years figured it out more than the coaches at Arkansas – who have been a program that has normally landed mostly 3-star prospects.

  But in my humble opinion, the current Razorback staff certainly has figured it out more than they are getting credit for at the present time.

  Last year's haul that included starters/significant contributors like Alex Collins, Denver Kirkland, Dan Skipper, Korliss Marshall and Brooks Ellis – and possibly future stars such as Reeve Koehler and DeAndre Coley speaks to that.

  As does the fact that 10 of the 24 current athletes committed to Arkansas in the 2014 and 2015 classes are rated as 4-star prospects either by Scout.com or one of three other major recruiting services.

  In the 2014 class, you have defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson, quarterback Rafe Peavey, offensive linemen Jovan Pruitt, tight end Ravian Pierce, wide receiver Corey McBride and cornerback Henre' Toliver all with a fourth star by their name on some service.

  Four of the five in the 2015 class are four stars at Scout.com – including the nation's top-ranked center (Zach Rogers) and three guys in the top 20 at their positions in Charleston quarterback Ty Storey and defensive ends in Denmark's Hjalte Froholdt and Junction City's Jamario Bell.

Don't get me wrong. The fact that they are 36th in the country and ranked 12th out of 14 teams in the ultra-competitive SEC is not where you want to be at all.

Albeit, being in the top 5 in 2015 certainly is.

For Arkansas to succeed on cosinstent basis in the SEC, it's going to take constant Top 20-25 recruiting classes along with flirtation with the top 10 every few years at least.

Arkansas has a chance on Saturday to land one of the nation's best offensive linemen – another four-star product – in St. Louis's Brian Wallace (6-6, 300).

Wallace is choosing between Alabama and Arkansas and there are Scout.com insiders who feel like the Razorbacks are going to get him when he announces sometime Saturday during the game, which will be televised by NBC at noon.

Not only would he be a great addition to the offensive line, but would obviously really help the preception of the class to steal one that the Crimson Tide actually wants.



They are still waiting to find out on Arizona Western tight end Blake Whiteley, who is down to Arkansas and Texas and could be a sixth mid-term guy for the Razorbacks that would go through spring practice in 2014.

The Razorbacks certainly closed well last season, but have to close with a couple of linebackers and safeties to fill the needs in this class.

As the wife and I have learned, you can't jump to concliusions too early during a Law and Order.

It would also be unwise to do with five weeks left to go in recruiting.


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