If you are what you eat, then it stands to reason that a football program is what it recruits and signs.
With the NCAA’s national football signing day arriving on Wednesday, we’ll learn who will be members of the next class of Razorbacks.
While recruiting is always a fluid situation, the Razorbacks have 13 commitments while I write this and are hoping to get at least one more when highly sought after Dallas cornerback Chevin Calloway announces his school of choice at 10 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN. The 5-10, 180-pounder said that Texas and Ole Miss are in the mix with the Hogs, but he had offers from a who’s who of football programs, including Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma.
While any of the Razorbacks commitments could flip to another school, one thing is for certain; the Hogs already have nine of their 2017 recruits on campus going through off-season workouts with their new teammates.
Those players are wide receivers Brandon Martin (6-4, 225) and Jonathan Nance (6-1, 180), offensive linemen Kirby Adcock (6-5, 300), Dalton Wagner (6-8, 312) and Shane Clenin (6-6, 295), linebacker Kyrei Fisher (6-3, 235), cornerback Korey Hernandez (5-11, 175), running back Maleek Williams (5-11, 215), and quarterback Daulton Hyatt (6-4, 182).
Tight end Jeremy Patton (6-6, 250) signed with the Razorbacks in December, but will not join the team until the summer. He did not complete all the credits he needed to transfer to Arkansas in the fall semester.
The players who are expected to sign with the Razorbacks are:
Wide receivers — Maleek Barkley (6-0, 186), Devion Warren (5-11, 168), and Koilan Jackson (6-3, 210)
Cornerbacks — Kamren Curl (6-2, 180), Jarques McClellion (6-1, 180) and Jordon Curtis (6-2, 185)
Safeties — Montaric Brown (6-1, 180) and Derrick Munson (6-0, 200)
Defensive linemen — Melvin Johnson (6-5, 270) and David Porter (6-3, 235)
Linebacker — Josh Paul (6-2, 205)
Running back — Chase Hayden (5-11, 185)
Athlete – Jarrod Barnes (5-11, 172)
Based on projections, the class should be ranked among the top 30 in the nation and possibly in the top 25, but still in the lower third of the SEC and likely sixth out of seven teams in the SEC West.
Recruiting rankings are subjective, but teams that are regularly ranked among the top 10 in recruiting tend to do very well on the field. No doubt, it seems like a chicken-and-egg argument, but results are results.
From a novice viewpoint, this recruiting class looks a bit light on linemen and linebackers, but Arkansas’ head coach Bret Bielema and his staff knows their needs and the players that were available to fill them much better than I do.
It’s better to judge a recruiting class four years later than before all of them have actually signed, but by then we’ll all be thinking about the signing class of 2021.
It’s a never-ending cycle.