The Finishing Touches to a Great Roster

Dave Van Horn is putting the finishing touches to his Arkansas baseball roster after getting home from an exhaustive summer tour with Team USA

Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn is busy trying to put the final touches to a roster that was bolstered by what some think could be the nation's top recruiting class -- after pro signings.

Van Horn met with the media at Baum Stadium on Thursday, exhausted from a 40-day summer tour as head coach of Team USA. Van Horn said it was a challenging summer as he kept up with the Razorbacks through late-night phone calls with assistants Dave Jorn and Tony Vitello.

"You stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning to talk to your coaches and find out the news of the day back home, since it's evening here when I'm (in The Netherlands)," Van Horn said.

Mostly it was good news as the heart of the UA recruiting class picked the Razorbacks over offers from major league baseball. The Hogs lost only one top pick, but kept all the others in a couple of borderline decisions.

"We did hold our class together," Van Horn said. "Some other schools like Vanderbilt, LSU and Tennessee did, too. It was maybe the best we'd done at that since I've been here.

"It's going to be a very interesting fall. We've got the returnees coming back who can help the young guys with their experiences in the league.

"We did a good job this spring and this summer with this class. As you know, it starts with a verbal commitment, then they sign, then they are drafted and we just keep recruiting them. We spent a lot of time on the phone and in homes this spring and summer. Of course, we are still waiting to make sure we don't lose any to junior colleges. A JC might give them a chance to play right away."

Junior pitcher Trey Killian, who joined Van Horn for most of the summer with Team USA, sounded pumped about the Arkansas prospects with a top class coming to school.

"I'm super excited," Killian said. "We pretty much didn't lose anyone to the draft. It's a good class. We are going to get things rolling and get to Omaha."

Killian will be one of the team captains.

"I don't have a problem speaking my mind," Killian said. "Last year, there were times we argued. If I see that happening this year, I'll step up."

Earlier this summer it was announced that junior Colin Poche would have elbow surgery and transfer to Dallas Baptist for his rehab season. Van Horn said there could be a "couple more" after he makes some phone calls in the next few days.

"We'll have a release when I talk to everyone," he said. "Honestly, there is so much talent coming in here, you are going to have this."

Some players might have to take less scholarship money to return.

"The magic number is 11.7 (scholarships)," he said. "Sometimes it just works itself out. But we are always up front with everyone. For the most part, everyone helps out. Some have given a little bit back. But it's not fair and you never have enough."

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