UA Commits React to Grobe Hire

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson gets Razorback commit reactions to the hiring of new Arkansas head football coach Jim Grobe. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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While Jim Grobe is most certainly a household name in college coaching circles, there were a lot of University of Arkansas commits heading to the internet last night to find out about the Razorbacks' new head football coach.

Grobe, the 2006 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, makes the leap from Wake Forest to Arkansas a year after leading his team to the ACC title and a BCS berth.

Razorback quarterback commit Jim Youngblood – who was informed by current UA assistant Tim Horton - was among those excited about the hire.

"I think he is a very good coach," noted Youngbloo, a Camden Fairview standout. "Coach Horton called and said he runs a lot of 1-back stuff, mixes in the option and his passing game seems a lot like what we ran here in high school. So I am very excited about that.

"Coach Horton had a lot of positive things to say about him and I think it looks like Coach Horton is going to get a chance to be on his staff at Arkansas," Youngblood added. When you can go to a BCS bowl at a basketball school, that is saying a lot right there."

Horton, who worked with Grobe at Air Force, also left the same impression with wideout Chris Gragg, one of Razorback commits from Warren.

"I am on the internet right now looking up things about Wake Forest," Gragg said. "Coach Horton called and he has worked with him before and says he is a great coach and a great guy that we will really like.

"I hope Coach Horton gets to stay," Gragg added. "He really loves the Razorbacks and has been working real hard to keep us up to date about what is going on. He also has come down here twice in the past week and that really means a lot to us because it is a long way from Fayetteville to here and he has been doing it not knowing whether he was still going to be around."

Gragg and fellow UA commits and teammates Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and Basmine Jones have had other coaches trying to work their way into landing at least a visit.

"There have been a lot of coaches down here they have been asking us to take visits if things don't work out with Arkansas," Gragg said, "and we have just been telling them we'll see what happens and how things work out up there in Fayetteville."

Wright may visit Texas Tech this weekend.

"As of right now I am still committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks," Wright said. "I do not know that much about the new head coach or his staff. As you know my recruiter, or the person that recruited me (David Lee) is already going to be gone, but I do not know a whole lot about any other schools either."

"The most important thing to me is going to be the academic program and I want to be able to go to the school that fits my talent the best."

Camden Fairview running back De'Anthony Curtis was getting his info from Youngblood.

"I was just on the phone with Jim," Curtis said. "I don't know a lot about him, but Jim (Youngblood) and I were talking and he said that he runs a lot of the same stuff we do in high school - quick hitters, the bubbles and stuff like that. I am going to learn a lot more about him."

Curtis and teammate LaVunce Askew – another UA commit – are visiting Oklahoma State this weekend and Curtis also has LSU, Tennessee and Texas Tech trying to get him to take an official visit to their school.

"But I am still committed to Arkansas," Curtis said. "I have been kind of waiting to see what was going to happen with Arkansas."

Askew was doing his best to find out about Grobe as well.

"I just kind of wondering who is going to be up there," Askew said. "Will (current interim head coach and former defensive co-ordinator) Reggie Herring? I've got a lot to learn about the new guy."

While Arkansas might lose Alabama offensive lineman Josh Tatum to Ole Miss, it's clear that Fort Smith Northside's Austin Eoff and Russellville's Matt Hall are planning to stick with their commitments to Arkansas.

"Sounds like a great hire," Eoff said. "He got to the BCS last year and that right there tells you he can get the job done. That's a big accomplishment.

"It's been crazy – (Tommy) Bowden, (Tommy) Tuberville, close to offering this guy and that guy," Eoff continued. "I am just glad that it is over and they got a really good coach. I had an in-home with Coach Horton last Wednesday and really like him. That would be really cool if he stays around."

Hall, the first of the current 19 Razorbacks to commit, likes the sound of Grobe.

"That says so much about a coach there when your program is successful enough you win a big conference like the ACC and get into the BCS," Hall said. "That is the kind of guy you want to be your coach, somebody who can get it done.

"Austin and I have been kind of sad about the old staff leaving, that was kind of unfortunate," Hall said. "But know we have a guy that wants to be Arkansas and I can't wait to meet him."

Memphis Whitehaven linebacker Tenarius Wright – the last of the 19 to commit, was doing his research as well.

"I don't know a lot about him, but I am going to start looking him up and learning a lot about him," Wright said. "The fact that he has won a championship (ACC) and been to the BCS lets me know that he can get in done in clutch situations against teams like Miami and Florida State.

"I haven't set up any other official visits yet," Wright added. "I am supposed to be at Arkansas on Jan. 18."

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