Thursday, February 4, 2010
Recruiting rewind: Arkansas
By Chris Low
Recruits: 25 (25 high school seniors, one enrolled early).
Top prospects: The Hogs signed one ESPNU 150 player, offensive tackle Cam Feldt. He’s rated as the No. 8 offensive tackle prospect in the country. Calvin Barnett is the No. 21 defensive tackle prospect nationally, while Daunte Carr is the No. 24 safety prospect in the country.
Sleepers: Bobby Petrino really likes Marquel Wade’s ability to make things happen in the open field even though he doesn’t have blazing speed. He’s also a dangerous return man. Garrett Uekman is a pass-catching tight end who may have a chance to play early for the Hogs.
Needs met: The Hogs needed some more muscle in the offensive line and found it in Feldt, who has big-time potential as a run-blocker at both tackle and guard. Petrino thinks 260-pound Jatashun Beachum has a chance to be a Michael Bush type of player. It remains to be seen how much the Hogs helped themselves on defense. Are there enough linebackers and pass-rushers in this class, guys who can make plays, to bolster a defense that's given up far too many points the last two seasons?
Analysis: There weren’t a lot of big names in this class and only two four-star players, but Petrino likes the overall athleticism of the class. Byran Jones and Barnett were must gets at defensive tackle. The Hogs were able to get Barnett away from Oklahoma State. Eduardo Camara is one of the top 5 kickers in the country, and Arkansas can certainly use a boost in special teams. The offense is in place for the Hogs to do big things, especially next season. But it still gets down to stopping people, and the Hogs are still very much an unknown on that side of the ball.
Scouts Inc. grade: B-
What Bobby Petrino said:
- "The last week gets a little bit wild. I think it continues to change. Recruiting is continuously changing, the early the commitments, the not staying committed, who the commitments are. The one thing we have to do is continue to work and have to have a good plan. We do a good job with our ranking system. We try to rank them and try to go get the number one guy on our list and then we work our way down the list. It’s quite the process. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of stress but it’s rewarding when you stand up here at the end of the day."
- "I think we really helped ourselves on defense. That was certainly an emphasis. We understand that we are going to improve on defense. We have a lot of young guys coming back, but we needed to add some guys who could come in and contribute right away. On the defensive front, the size and the athleticism of the guys coming in on defense will certainly do that. We do feel like some of the guys in the secondary will come in and compete. The best part about it is that they are going to have to compete."