Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is very clear that he would much rather have a home-and-home series with Arkansas rather than playing at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas every year, but knows there is nothing he can do about it for a long time.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is just as pleased as he can be with the game being contracted at form Razorback Jerry Jones’ mega-stadium through at least the 2024 season.
“It means a lot, I think especially to our players now,” Bielema said. “I can’t speak to before I got here. Our first year that we were here, it wasn’t in place. So last year was the first time I had the experience with myself and our players.
“To hear Jerry Jones speak to our team, to be able to play in that environment, to have so many Arkansas fans living in Texas and being able to travel to a fairly close home game and to have so many players on our roster from Texas (13) and to be able to play in Cowboy Stadium is great.
“To have the Jones family last week give the dedication here last week and now they walk into the Jones Center every day so I think our connection with the Cowboys and the Jones family in particular.”
Bielema knows that Jones is a big fan of having the game in his stadium.
“…I think anytime that we can get around him or anybody from the ‘64 era, they have had a lot of pride and a lot of success to rub off on our guys,” Bielema said.
“He spoke to our team a year ago and had a message for them that goes way beyond football, just about life and success. Not only is it great for him, but it is great for him to be around our players as well.”
Bielema is very clear that he thinks the game helps him in recruiting Texas, a state that Arkansas has two commitments in he 2016 class in Byron Nelson Trophy Club offensive lineman Kellen Diesch and Arlington Lamar receiver Kofi Boateng.
“For us in recruiting, I don’t care what kind of NFL fan you are, you mention the name Jerry Jones and kids are going to pay attention and to his family and what they have brought to our university and the Cowboys is pretty special,” Bielema said.
“I am not involved in those decisions, they were made before I got here, but for us personally it couldn’t get any better and hopefully it is something that will continue. I know it is contracted out for a long, long time so I hope it continues.”
Several of Arkansas assistant coaches will hit the road after Thursday’s practice to be able to be in Texas schools on Friday recruiting.
“Of course, recruiting in the state of Texas, we get more and more players every year from that state and will continue to go forward,” Bielema said.
“We will have a lot of coaches over there recruiting on Friday before we show up. They will leave Thursday after practice and rejoin us Friday at the hotel.
“It is definitely an area of interest and a high market for us in recruiting.”