It's not surprising that some of the recruits that the University of Arkansas football has committed or trying to get to come aboard were pleased with the fact that Razorback head coach Houston Nutt is staying in Fayetteville.
Nutt announced that decision Saturday morning, turning down a reported $2.5 per year offer to go to Nebraska to stay at the helm of the Razorbacks.
The Arkansas head coach made it clear at the press conference that he was committed to Arkansas and looking for a few good men to join the fight with him.
"The bottom line came down to this," Nutt said. "when the Nebraska school plane was here, I couldn't take my family and get on that plane. My heart was here. Arkansas is a special place. I love it. I love that helmet. And I need two or three more recruits in the state to come join me now."
Marc Winston, a 6-7, 235-pound tight end from Little Rock Parkview, was certainly one of those guys Nutt was reaching out to at the press conference.
"Well what a great day after one that was pretty hectic," Winston said. "It was a day when you didn't know if he was going to stay here, go there or what. I tell you one thing $2.5 million is a lot of money and for him to turn that down tells me so much. It tells me that he is committed to Arkansas and they are committed to him."
Winston, who has already visited Duke, was a little worried that Nutt might take the money and run.
"I think if he had left it would have set off a little bit of a frenzy and it certainly is something that caused a lot of confusion on whether they would have gotten somebody proven or if they would have gone for an up-and-comer," Winston said. "I am just glad we don't have to find out."
"This is such a compliment paid to the state of Arkansas and the Razorback program by Coach Nutt," Winston added. "It also tells you what a lot of people think about what we have down here when a program the prestige of Nebraska tries to come and take the coach. The fact that he didn't go shows how much something good is going on here."
Winston has already been to Duke and has visits set for Florida Jan. 16-18, Arkansas Jan. 23-25 and Stanford on Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
"I am looking forward to getting up to Arkansas on what is going to be a big weekend with Fred Bledsoe and Jamal Anderson and myself and some others," Winston said. "The fact that he was talking about us Arkansas recruits in his time of glory is a compliment and shows us how committed he is to us. It lets you know the loyalty is there."
Fred Bledsoe, a 6-5, 295-pound defensive lineman from Little Rock Central, is another one of the guys Nutt was speaking directly to through the cameras even though like Winston he was asleep as the press conference was going on.
"I knew that staying at Arkansas was what he truly wanted to do in his heart, but the fact that he turned down so much money tells me a lot about what he feels about the program and how committed he is to Arkansas," Bledsoe said. "I am so happy about this. We have developed a great relationship and I call him on almost a daily basis. It's just a wonderful thing."
"A lot of coaches have let me know how wanted I am, but none more than him and that's a great feeling," Bledsoe added. "I am still not sure where I am going to go and not ready to announce, but this tells me a lot."
Bledsoe has already visited Tennessee and has visits set to Oklahoma State (Jan. 9-11), Florida (Jan. 16-18) and Arkansas (Jan. 23-25).
"I tell you something, if he had gone to Nebraska, I might have as well," Bledsoe said. "Or Tennessee."
Tulsa Union standout linebacker Zach Snider, a 6-3, 225-pound star who is already committed to Arkansas and was recently named the Oklahoma defensive player of the year by the Tulsa World, was a little ahead of the game.
"I'm really happy about this," Snider said. "I actually found out for sure late last night. I just think he is an awesome coach and an awesome guy, really down to earth and he is the coach that I wanted to play for these next four years."
He is pleased that Nutt has committed to Arkansas and Arkansas has committed to Nutt.
"I committed to them early on and it's great for me to see that Coach Nutt is committing to Arkansas and they in turn on committing to him. We've got a great future over at Arkansas if we all work together."
Frank Morton, Jr., a 6-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Georgia, was also pleased at the news after having earlier said that if Nutt left, Arkansas might have vanish from his list.
"I am pretty excited about this," Morton said. "It makes me even more excited to get up there on the 16th. I feel much more comfortable about the situation now that I know he is staying. It makes me put Arkansas even more up on a pedestal when it comes to recruiting. You know how much I love their program and for him to turn down all that money shows me he loves what he is doing at Arkansas and is committed to a great future there. It makes me think I want to be a part of that."
Recruits happy about Nutt's decision to stay
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