State Of The Hogs #18

As the curtain closes on an EPIC early National Signing Day period, let’s recap this historic class.

Coach Morris was able to lock up 21 of 27 commitments, meaning those 21 recruits put pen to paper and officially signed their letters of intent to play football at the University of Arkansas. The six odd men out are: Treylon Burks (WR), Hudson Henry (TE), Adonis Otey (DB), Myles Brooks (DB), Dante Walker (DE), and A’Montae Spivey (RB).

Treylon is holding off until National Signing Day (February 6) so his grandmother can be at his signing ceremony.

Pulaski Academy does not allow athletes to sign early meaning Hudson will be signing on NSD.

While Adonis has suspiciously delayed his recruitment, there should not be any question that he will be a Razorback.

The last few guys is where things get a little murky. Either of these next two guys could end up being anything but a Razorback when it is all said and done. The issue with Myles Brooks is he was not a regular participant in his high school games: a big red flag to the coaching staff. He has also been distant with the coaching staff as of late. And considering the athletes the coaching staff is pursuing, Myles could get pushed out.

Dante is in a similar situation. The talented defensive end from Georgia is struggling with grades and this could mean he doesn’t make it to campus. With his eligibility being up in the air the coaching staff could decide to move on from him.

Finally, A’Montae Spivey has been questioned by fans for his loyalty to the program. It seems as if he has been waiting for a better offer. Earlier in the year, he was seen rocking LSU gloves at one of his high school games. He even scheduled an official visit to Oxford, Mississippi in late January. All while being a Arkansas Razorback “commit”.

With that being said, Arkansas is standing strong in the Rivals Team Recruiting Rankings at 12th in the nation and 4th in the Southeastern Conference. For a team coming off a 2-10 year, that is pretty damn impressive.

As of now, the Hogs have 27/29 commits meaning there is room for two more, and potentially three or four if a couple of the guys listed above jump ship. Here are a few options to fill out the class:

  • Jalen Catalon (Safety)
  • Lakia Henry (Linebacker)
  • Sci Martin (Linebacker)
  • QB position

If I was a part of the coaching staff, I would make sure that finding a quarterback was a priority for this program. Arkansas has temporarily fixed the O-Line issue, by adding two Junior College players, Chibueze Nwanna and Myron Cunningham.  Now they are a quarterback away from having a competitive football team. Maybe Kelly Bryant can transfer one more time? Ha.

Jalen seems to be almost all Hog. One of the best defensive backs in all of Texas.

Lakia and Sci are both great options to replace Dre Greenlaw at the linebacker position. If Myles/Dante/A’Montae announce their transfer, expect one or both of the linebackers to fill their spots.

 

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Is this the beginning of the end for the “Fastest 40 Minutes of Basketball”?

After two straight losses in Bud Walton Arena to Western Kentucky and Georgia Tech, people are calling out Mike Anderson, and not in a good way. The last time Arkansas lost two Fayetteville games in a row that it led at halftime was November of 2009. Yeah, not ideal. There is a two way street fans go on when talking about Mike. One side says he has never made it to the Sweet 16, he struggles to keep the best in-state talent, and he lacks elite coaching skills. The other side says he has never had a losing season in his 16 years of being a head coach, is third best in conference wins over the past five years, and is about to have another first round NBA draft pick in Daniel Gafford.

I believe it’s unfair to place as much blame on MA as some people are putting on him. The Hogs have been to the Big Dance in three of the past four years. The team he has been dealt with this year is very young and inexperienced, and even a little unlucky. Adrio Bailey, Daniel Gafford, and Gabe Osabuohien are the only returning role players from last year. Any coach is going to struggle with a massive roster turnover like Coach A has had, unless you are Coach K or Coach Cal.

Let’s recap why the roster fell through the way it did. First off, five-star PF Reggie Perry decided to ditch his AAU Hawks and future Hog teammates and go to Starkville, unexpectedly.  And then, CJ Jones and Darious Hall transferred out of the blue to Middle Tennessee State and DePaul, respectively. Another player the Hogs are missing is Khalil Garland. He is likely to be shut down for the second consecutive year due to heart problems.

Those players would be having a positive impact on the court and we could be looking at a much better team if a couple of these scenarios would have played out differently.

We knew this was going to be a tough year for MA.  If they can make it to conference play with three losses, Hog Nation should be pleased.

Give this team some time.  They’re young.  They’ll hit some rough patches (Western Kentucky), but they’ll have their good moments too (Indiana).

Three losses by seven points. SEVEN POINTS. Gotta string a few wins together again.

It all starts on Saturday with Texas State.

Woo Pig.

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