Arkansas' Summer Camp Season Gets Underway

Arkansas assistant coach Barry Lunney talks about his program's six summer camps - which began on Saturday with a youth one that featured the Razorback coaches and players - as well as how in-state recruiting is going and his relationship with Frank Broyles.

With the spring evaluation period behind them, Arkansas' coaches got their camps underway on Saturday with one for the little guys.

The youth camp – which featured several Razorback players - is one of six the Razorback head coach Bret Bielema and his staff will be having over the next two weeks.

Those include two Elite Camps on June 12 and June 19, a junior high day camp on June 11, a Specialist Camp on June 14 and the High School Overnight Camp June 15-17.

"It's huge and I'll say this – one thing I like about Coach (Bielema) is he puts a lot of stock into that," Arkansas assistant coach Barry Lunney, Jr., said. "He likes getting to know guys and when you get a chance to get a guy on your campus, you get a chance to know him pretty well.

"Not only do you get a chance to see him workout, but how he interacts, how he stretches, how he goes about his business in the line," Lunney said. "Is he attentive? Is he distracted? Is he above being coached? There are just a lot of things to determine other than just how fast they can run, how high they can jump. That is an important part of it, too.

"Camps serve a great purpose in that regard because it allows you to validate maybe things you have seen on film, whether it be something you want to validate as a strength or maybe even validate as a concern," Lunney continued. "That's what camp allows you to do."

Lunney, who is in charge of recruiting Arkansas, noted that the recent evaluation period was certainly successful inside the state's borders.

"As the in-state recruiter, it's staying busy for sure," Lunney said. "The reception that I've gotten – in large part because we have a head coach in the head seat that I think our high school coaches appreciate and know that he is working at these relationships – was great.

"It certainly makes my job a lot easier to go in there and be that lifeline to the Arkansas program," Lunney added. "I am their connection, but when you have a guy in that seat that I think they generally like, it makes things a lot easier."

Lunney was recently named one of the top recruiters in the SEC by ESPN.

"Just like rankings for players, we don't put a lot of stock in those things," Lunney said. "You know what that is about – that's about having some guys in the state that are highly recruited and are highly recognized that have committed to us. It goes on star rating, but our staff doesn't get caught up in that too much because at the end of the day, time will tell what kind of player that guy is, time will tell what kind of recruiter you are and time tells everything.

"Everybody nowadays gets so caught up in the now – this guy is ranked this or this guy is ranked that, this guy is this recruiter," Lunney added. "It's just about time. We'll be able to look back and say are you getting the job done.

"One thing I am sure of, it's better to be ranked as one of the five best instead of one of the five worst recruiters in the SEC at this point," Lunney said. "But let's get to signing date and see how it looks at the end of the day."

Lunney played Friday in the Frank Broyles Golf Tournament, which was part of the festivities honoring the former head coach and athletic director for his 55 years of service to the Razorbacks.

"What can you say? His vision, much less his track record as a football coach, but more his vision for us to go into the SEC and to move our program forward was such a great decision for our state and our university and obviously financially it's been really good for us," Lunney said.

Lunney noted that he and Broyles had a great relationship.

"Coach Broyles and I just always had a kind of a connection because of me being a two-sport guy and he always kind of took to me a little bit," Lunney said. "He would come and watch me play baseball some and want to know when I was pitching and it was always really special to me to have someone that was so prominent in our program and our state and across the country to – I don't want to say take me under his wing because we didn't have that kind of relationship – have time for me and that was special to me.

"Words can't put into it what Coach Broyles has meant to our program and our state," Lunney added.

Barry Lunney

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