No Slowing Down

While a new NCAA rule keeps head coaches line Bobby Petrino grounded, University of Arkansas assistant coaches won't get a chance to slow down after Saturday's Junior Day and Red-White game because they must hit the road Sunday as the four-week evaluation period comes calling on Monday.

While today's Red-White game and Junior Day will signal the conclusion of the University of Arkansas' 2008 Spring football practices, it certainly doesn't end the busiest time of the off-season for coaches.

The Razorback staff will unofficially host nearly 100 prospects for Saturday afternoon's Razorfest and the 6 p.m. game then will head out on Sunday to be in place as the four-week spring evaluation period opens on Monday.

There are seven coaches allowed on the road at any one time, but new NCAA rules in place no longer let the head coach be one of those.

"We will all leave out on Sunday so we can be in place Monday to get going as early as we are allowed," Horton said. "We'll be hard at it these next four weeks gathering as much info as we can in the 20 days we have to evaluate - everything from how they look physically to checking out their transcripts and just getting a good read on whether this is someone we need to be recruiting."

While this new staff finished up the 2008 class by recruiting with coaches recruiting their positions, Horton says the 2009 class will be landed with coaches now recruiting their own territories.

"I'll have 65 to 70 percent of Arkansas, basically from Morrilton on," Horton said, "while (offensive line coach) Mike Summers will have Northwest Arkansas and Bobby Allen will be in charge of Southwest Arkansas.

"Garrick McGee will have Oklahoma and parts of Dallas, Coach Summers will have some of Dallas and Coach Allen will also have East Texas and North Louisiana.

"Kirk Botkin will have Houston, Willy Robinson will have Central and South Louisiana and Reggie Johnson will take Memphis and Tampa, Florida," Horton continued. "Lorenzo Ward will have greater Atlanta and basically Georgia.

"Paul Petrino will have North Florida and we will also look at individuals in Missouri and Kansas and obviously will send some coaches in on some players that they would be playing under."

The vast majority of Arkansas's unofficial visitors on Saturday are expected to be from in-state, but there are some out-of-sate prospects that are definitely at the top of the recruiting list for the Razorbacks.

"Having the kids up for Junior Day allows us to start and in some cases continue to build relationships, which is the number one thing in recruiting," said. "The way recruiting rules are these days if you don't see them at Junior Days or camps, you can really develop that relationship until December of their junior year."

The three current UA 2009 commits are expected to be on hand – Fayetteville offensive lineman Colby Berna (6-4, 275) and the West Helena duo of cornerback Darius Winston (6-1, 180) and running back/linebacker Turell Williams (6-3, 215).

Pulaski Academy wideout Neal Barlow (6-7, 200), who already has a Razorback offer, will join Hoxie defensive lineman Derek Johnson and West Helena defensive lineman Eric Smiley as other top prospects expected to show.

The Razorbacks are also expected to host some out-of-state wideouts.

"We're looking forward to getting them on our campus, showing them around and letting them know what a great place this is to get an education and play football," Horton said. "That is the biggest thing we are trying to get across."


Hawgs Daily Top Stories