Commentary: Laying the Foundation

Here's a take from HI.com Publisher Clay Henry on the state of Arkansas' football recruiting as signing day approaches. This is a commentary.

I'll do this in my words, because Otis and I have visited. These are my thoughts, but they are influenced greatly by what Otis and I have talked about. He is one of my sources, but not my only source.

Arkansas is doing a wonderful job with this class. They are like most schools outside of the top five, they must work extremely hard to get a visit from the elite players in the nation. Most don't get any visits from these type players. You get the visits, and then you hope to get a few of them. You are only going to get a few.

You must do a great job of evaluation the rest of the way. Everyone can identify the top 50 players, and they only get six visits, so you are limited there. Arkansas did a great job of both evaluation and selling on the front to get the visits. They are going to get a few of the top players that they got visits from. It's much better than it's been.

I will say when you look at Arkansas' recruiting lists now, as opposed to three years ago, this is by far the best Arkansas has ever done. And, they are getting a nice group of national recruits.

Houston Nutt is the best recruiter the Hogs have had since Frank Broyles. Broyles was good, too, although he sometimes had wash-out classes when he turned over his coaching staff in a large way. But, he went to Texas and signed some top players, and also got some top players out of Mississippi (Lance Alworth and Bruce James come to mind), Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri at times.

No other Arkansas coach has ever gone out of state and accomplished what Houston Nutt has in the last three years. He's done a wonderful job.

We still don't know what is going to happen with the current recruiting class, but I like it a lot so far. Some are going to point to a few linemen that got away, but you are never going to get them all. And, some that look to be escaping may yet return to the fold. You won't know about some of them until signing day because there are going to be several more twists and turns.

In summary, I'm tickled to death with what Houston Nutt and his coaches have done this recruiting season. I'm as excited as I've ever been about the prospects for Arkansas football long term. Nutt can recruit. Of course, so can some others on this staff.

The key to recruiting is to get a shot at enough blue chippers. You never know when the sales pitch will click. It's kinda like in sales. If you call on enough good customers, you will get some good contracts. Nutt and staff are calling on the right customers and getting them to make visits, and they are getting some of them. I'm happy.

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