Recruiting Goes Live Once Again

Arkansas coaches can get back out on the road Thursday as the dead period is finally getting over and they will do so in force with all of their assistants hitting the recruiting trail before returning to campus Friday to host official visitors.

Arkansas' football program may have lost its defensive coordinator on Tuesday, but it will have the rest of its football assistants in track shoes and ready to sprint all over the place on Thursday morning.

That's because after a dead period that lasted from Dec. 16-Jan. 15, the Razorback staff can get back out on the road recruiting on Thursday and will do so in full force.

"We are going to have all of our guys on the road as we race to the finish of this 2014 recruiting class," Arkansas on-campus recruiting coordinator Chris Hauser said. "We know what we want to do with these final six or seven spots and we are determined to close strong like we did last year during this time."

The dead period kept Arkansas' coaches from meeting with players, but there still could be contact via phone, texts, etc.

It also was a time when the head coach Bret Bielema and his Razorback staff were able to fine-tune its closing strategy.

"We were still able to get plenty of work done in terms of narrowing down the kids on our list, knowing which ones we still wanted to get in the program and obviously a lot of kids made their decisions at the all-star games," Hauser said. "So it really brought into focus who we are going to have in these last few weeks and how we are going to finish up."

The Razorbacks, who have 20 public commits, will have six to eight official visitors this weekend as they attempt to fill the final needs in their class.

They include three commits in El Dorado defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson (6-2, 320), Bentonville tight end Jack Kraus (6-5, 250), North Little Rock tailback Juan Day (6-1, 215) as well as three uncommitted prospects in Florida prep defensive backs Cornelius Floyd and Lamont Simmons as well as Tuscon, Ariz., Sabino offensive lineman Andrew Mike (6-7, 270).

It also appears that Arkansas will host Miami, Fla., Killian defensive end Anthony Brown (6-4, 235), a Florida International commit who will visit Mississippi State the following weekend and also has an offer from Michigan State.

The Razorbacks will also bring in a dozen or so recruits on Jan. 24-26 and host some as well on Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

"What we are really looking at is adding an offensive lineman or two and taking kids in our spots on defense," Hauser said. "That is where we need to close out with some game-changers to get to where we want to go."

Razorback defensive coordinator Chris Ash left Tuesday to become the new defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

"I don't think that is going to cause us to miss a beat either with the kids that we have committed or the ones we are trying to bring in here at the end," Hauser said. "I can say that without any hesitation.

"Coach Bielema always has a plan and is never taken by surprise," Hauser said. "Coach has filled in spots before and he always seems to hire some great coaches."

• Recruiting Tidbits:

...Some of the other kids that Arkansas is known to be visiting on Thursday are Phenix City, Ala., safety Christian Campbell and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Dywer safety Shawn Boone.

....Arkansas assistant Michael Smith will be stopping by River Ridge, La., John Curtis to see linebacker Kenny Young and wide receiver Malachi Dupre - the nation's top receiver who just happens to be Smith's cousin.

Dupre also has Alabama, UCLA and LSU coming to visit him on Thursday and does not have an Arkansas official visit scheduled.

Young is slated to visit Texas A&M this weekend and then arrive for his official visit to Arkansas on Sunday.

...Minnesota prep offensive lineman Frank Ragnow plans to announce his finalists via twitter this week.

....Arkansas will host Coppell, Texas, defensive end Solomon Thomas (6-3, 265) on Jan. 24-26 along with a host of other prospects.

Thomas has officially visited Texas, UCLA and Stanford and has Arkansas and Ohio State left to visit.

He will host new Texas coach Charlie Strong in his home on Thursday.

Kenny Young

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