Hogs Surprised By Speedy Hire

FAYETTEVILLE -- Players sounded surprised Friday night when they learned Arkansas had hired Reggie Herring as its new defensive coordinator.

Herring spent the past season as North Carolina State's defensive coordinator and was with the Houston Texans for two seasons prior to that.

The Razorbacks, who found out Wednesday that Dave Wommack was fired after three seasons as defensive coordinator, were for the most part impressed with how swiftly a replacement was named.

"I think it's better that they went ahead and got it done," said Sam Olajubutu, a starting linebacker the past two seasons. "The team, we really didn't have a clue who was coming in and who we were going to be working with.

"So it'll be better that we went ahead and got him early so we can get him in here and get the thing going."

North Carolina State led the nation in total defense this year, allowing just 221.4 yards per game.

"He had the top defense in the nation, so you know that he knows what he's doing," said cornerback Darius Vinnett. "If you already have a guy in, we can get to know him and he can get to know us, so I think it's better that they brought a guy in quick."

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson, who's hosting one of the seven prospects in town on an official visit this weekend, looked at the bigger picture.

"That is a surprise that we got one so quick," Anderson said. "This will definitely help out with the recruiting process, because it's really starting to pick up.

"Plus, having the No. 1 defense in the country, that will help us out a lot right away."

Others stayed a little more guarded and wanted to find out more about Herring. Right now, all the players really know is he's from NC State and he will be their new defensive coordinator.

Coaches hadn't had a chance to meet with the players before the news broke late Friday.

"I've just got to wait and see what's going on with him," said free safety Randy Kelley. "You know, get to meet him and know him a little and then, give an opinion.

"But I trust the coaches to make a good decision."

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