Arkansas In the Market For More TexHogs
During Thursday night’s “On Air with Bret Bielema” radio show from the Catfish Hole in Fayetteville, an Arkansas fan from Dallas named Jerry e-mailed in a question about the Razorbacks recruiting in Texas.
Now whether the e-mailer was Dallas Cowboys owner and former Arkansas player Jerry Jones or not, Bielema used it to talk about his staff’s increased recruiting efforts in the Lone Star State.
The Razorbacks play at Texas Tech on Saturday and also in 2015, have an annual game with SEC foe Texas A&M at ATT Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, have games with TCU in 2016 and 2017 and have a game scheduled with Texas for 2021 that could turn into a two-game series.
“Betcha I know who that Jerry is – there is one Jerry in Dallas I know of,” Bielema said. “It (getting back in Texas) has been a huge, huge thing ever since I came here.
“I was actually amazed when I got here that the previous staff had (only) one or two guys in the state of Texas,” Bielema said. “We have five coaches now that currently recruit the state of Texas as their main focus.”
Those five assistant coaches are Clay Jennings, Michael Smith, Joel Thomas, Rory Segrest and Barry Lunney – who are trying to add to the 11 Texas natives currently on scholarship on the Arkansas roster.
“We have two guys in Dallas, two guys in Houston and another guy in East Texas,” Bielema said. “It has been a huge part of what we are (in the past). Obviously these two guys were here before I got here, but we have really tried to expand that a little bit more.”
The Razorbacks have two current 2015 commits from Texas – Hebron center Zach Rogers and Dallas Bishop Lynch tailback Rawleigh Williams – and are after several others.
“It always starts in our state, but there are so many kids in the state of Texas who have got an aunt or uncle or a grandpa or grandma in Texas with Dallas being a five-hour plus, Houston a nice eight-hour car ride or there are direct flights to both," Bielema said. “That is a huge part for us and we have got to continue taking advantage of it."
Bielema was asked about his pitch to Texas prep athletes right now.
“It’s the SEC, but it is also proximity, location and a chance to have a lot of ties when you are done playing,” Bielema said.
“…There are a lot of successful alumni in the state of Texas that are Arkansas grads so I think it just one of those things that we need to continue to build on and blanket the area,” Bielema added.
“To be quite honest, the more success we have on these upcoming opponents – Texas Tech and Texas A&M this year, we play TCU later, maybe possibly get something on the horizon with Texas going – it’s all a very intriguing thing.”
Arkansas can promise Texas recruits a chance to play at the Cowboys Stadium each season.
“We call our guys the TexHogs and we make a huge effort right now for us in recruiting,” Bielema said. “To play every year in Jerry’s Stadium – Cowboys Stadium – to have that opportunity to afford every recruit that we talk to in the state of Texas – really and in Oklahoma and kids from Arkansas – that is a big deal.”
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