Javontee Herndon was Arkansas' only player from the Sunshine State in 2012, but Arkansas signed three players from Florida Wednesday on National Signing Day and officially added highly-touted running back Alex Collins Thursday.
Denver Kirkland of Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Fla. signed his letter of intent with the Razorbacks Wednesday after previously being recruited by in-state schools Florida State and Miami.
"As a head coach, I always put a premium on relationships," Bielema said. "Coaches are going to come from certain geographic locations. They may have recruited somewhere in the past, but I think I hired a group of nine coaches that really can recruit anywhere. I'm going to have certain coaches recruit certain areas, but if you are a dynamic coach, you can go out and recruit anywhere."
With Partridge and Shannon's experience and relationships within the state of Florida, Bielema said it would "be natural" to let them recruit there. Bielema also said when he hired Shannon, he knew his impact in the state would be great.
"When the opportunity came to hire him I knew that we would have some immediate inroads into the areas that even I had not been exposed to in South Florida, just because of Randy's experience as a player, as a coach and as a head coach at Miami," Bielema said.
Shannon spent 17 total seasons at his alma mater and spent an additional three years with the Miami Dolphins. He said he was well-received when he returned to recruit the Sunshine State, even though he was wearing an Arkansas Razorbacks shirt.
"It was a great reception," Shannon said. "I obviously played a little part in going to south Florida, but it was fun. It's all about the chance to get to build relationships with people.
"People are going to accept you, no matter where you're recruiting from, as who you are. I've recruited in California, I've recruited in Chicago, I've recruited in Memphis. The relationships you build are the key. I don't have on an Ohio State or a Miami shirt, but people look at what's inside the shirt."
Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge said while Arkansas will continue putting an emphasis on recruiting in key locations like Texas, Tulsa, Memphis and within the state, Florida can be a difference-maker for the Razorbacks' recruiting classes.
"I think people were honestly very excited to see us come down," he said. "It's an SEC school that has not been there day after day. They have certainly been in there and done some spot recruiting as far as I can tell and certainly from watching from the outside at another school, but I think there's a lot of potential for Arkansas down in south Florida."
Shannon said it's not just a matter of going after the top 20 players in the two-county area (Dade and Broward) with the heavy concentration of great athletes. He said there will always be some that fall between the cracks.
The new UA linebackers coach and former Miami head coach pointed to UA signee De'Andre Coley as a perfect example. Shannon was recruiting the 6-1, 178-pound safety for TCU, but he was off the radar for everyone else.
"I don't think Coley was recruited by many," he said. "I knew about him because I had worked as a volunteer at Miami Northwestern in the year I was out of coaching, that spring. I saw Coley then.
"I checked with his coach (Stephen Field) after I got to Arkansas to see if he was still progressing. I found out quickly that what I saw developing was worth another look. There were other players on that team -- two or three -- that were the high profile players that got the attention of everyone else, but I knew Coley was someone who fit in what we were looking for on defense.
"He's got speed, he's got the ability to hit and he is someone who is still developing. He's going to get bigger.
"We are going after high profile guys, but there is more down there, too, more players like De'Andre Coley who can play in the SEC."