Arkansas Looking To Add Best 25

Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema and his staff have hit the recruiting trail hard this week in an effort to finish strong on the 2015 recruiting class, which is currently ranked 16th nationally and will have several prospects arriving in January.

Arkansas wasted no time in getting out on the recruiting trail after its regular season finale and is pointed toward a strong finish with its 2015 signing class around playing in its bowl game.

Razorback head coach Bret Bielema and his staff are all over the place as evidenced by his flight plane he talked about on a teleconference on Wednesday.

“It’s the first week of live recruiting,” Bielema said. “I am in the middle of Kansas right now, heading over to Indianapolis later today and then headed off for Utah tomorrow so I am all over the place. All my coaches are out on the road.”

Bielema – whose team finished up 6-6 after winning two of its final three games – is happy about the reception his program is getting and the recruits will be on campus in January.

“I think recruiting has been unbelievably positive,” Bielema said. “I think even before this year started that I felt we were probably a recruiting class away from making the splash that we want in this conference.

“I think the fact that we are going to probably add as few as five and maybe as many as nine players to our team and our roster and be able to the spring to work with them should give us a lot of benefit next fall.” The Razorbacks have signed Financial Aid Agreements with Charleston quarterback Ty Storey, Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean, Carrollton, Texas, Hebron center Zach Rogers and defensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt of Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy.

The Razorbacks also have commitments from Hutchinson, Kan., Community College defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter and former Jacksonville, Fla., University Christian offensive lineman Josh Allen, a 2014 North Carolina signee.

“A lot of times we are looking to get the best possible fit and we are going to sign a full class of 25,” Bielema said. “So we have a certain commitment to those that we already have got. Like I said we are going to get a huge number coming in during January, which I think for O-lineman and D-linemen is huge to try and get them in and go through spring ball.

“When we get to about 22 or 23 commitments then it really does get down to what is the best plus player we can get and not exactly slotted to a specific position, but the best possible player that you can get,” Bielema said.

There have been recent coaching changes at places like Nebraska, Florida and Michigan and Alabama-Birmingham made the decision to shut down its program.

There’s also the possibility of taking a one-year transfer that has graduated, but still has eligibility left per Bielema.

“The SEC has kind of lifted the rule about one-year transfers for guys that are graduating after not allowing that to happen,” Bielema said. “I was able to take advantage of that at my last place obviously with (former Wisconsin and current NFL quarterback) Russell Wilson. Got a lot of hype on that one. We are always open to that if it is the right fit and the right scenario.

“As far as high school recruiting, I have just been blown away,” Bielema added. “Because of the world that we are in right now with some coaching changes, we have contacted some kids that were previously committed to those schools and reached out to see if they had interest so that always is changing.

“Maybe if there is a coordinator change, especially within in our conference, to see if that opens the doors,” Bielema continued.

There will be three spots opening up under the 85-scholarship cap as lineman Grady Ollison, cornerback Will Hines and tailback Korliss Marshall will no longer be with the team according to Bielema.

“We are looking at opportunities for both Grady Ollison and Will Hines,” Bielema said. “Those two guys in particular. Look at that as well as Korliss Marshall. So those three guys in particular, having discussions with them and schools that might have interest in them as well.

“Those three will not be practicing with us for sure,” Bielema added. “By NCAA rules, those guys are allowed to have five more visits so they can take a look at other places so essentially the month of December is time for them to do that.

“I love those kids and I want to see them have success, spent a lot of time with them and I want to see the best possible scenario for their future,” Bielema added. “Put them in the right situation and a lot of times there are some NCAA rules that they are not aware of that we can really kind of help them through and facilitate issues that might come up.”

Hjalte Froholdt

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