Arkansas’ 2018 recruiting class is near completion with 11 commitments. That leaves just a few spots left to fill, which may increase in the coming months.
Recruiting never stops, though. So, there’s still plenty to be done on the recruiting trail throughout October.
Each month until the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, SEC Country will outline the three most important items on the Hogs’ recruiting to-do list for the coming weeks. Here’s what is on the agenda for October:
Keep the commits
Arkansas lost the commitment of a key 2018 recruit for the second time when 3-star athlete Maureese Wren reopened his recruitment last month. Wren was set to play outside linebacker for the Hogs. Now, the Hogs must find another prospect to fill that spot with just more than two months remaining until the December signing period. In addition, the Razorbacks are still trying to find a possible replacement at tight end for the spot vacated by 4-star prospect Luke Ford in June.
Those were two players the Hogs were very excited about — particularly Ford, who is the No. 2 tight end in the class. It’s unlikely either player is replaced by a higher-rated prospect. But that’s over and done with now. Going forward, losing any recruits would make things much more difficult.
To be fair, Arkansas still is at a very low number of de-commitments in the class compared to the rest of the SEC. Coach Bret Bielema is known for keeping players locked in once they commit.
But with two early season losses and two key commits already departed, the Hogs need that ability to keep their commits now as much as ever. That’s always been the intent of Bielema’s recruiting approach.
Get some top targets to campus
Arkansas had two home games (TCU and New Mexico State) in September. Neither brought in any top remaining 2018 targets for an official visit, with the exception of junior college offensive lineman Noah Banks. He was in Fayetteville last weekend and received an offer at the conclusion of his trip.
That leaves a handful of top targets the Hogs still need to bring to campus in order to have a legitimate chance at signing them. Ford is at the top of that list. Arkansas is currently on the borderline of being one of the schools he plans to officially visit. Glenn Beal, another prized tight end recruit, is expected to officially visit at some point. As is top offensive line target Jerome Carvin, top defensive line target Nicholas Fulwider and No. 1 in-state recruit Gerry Bohanon Jr.
Arkansas’ only home game this month is Oct. 21 against Auburn. None of the top targets are currently expected to take an official visit that day. What the Hogs need to do is either get them on campus that weekend or have future plans for an official visit scheduled by then end of the month.
There will be three home games in November (Coastal Carolina, Mississippi State and Missouri) as perfect opportunities for official visits. There’s also expected to be a weekend in December when several of the current commits take official visits. That could be an ideal time for some top targets to make the trip as well.
So, regardless of when the visits happen, Arkansas needs to create and finalize some official visit plans for some of its top remaining targets.
Find an outside linebacker
As previously mentioned, Arkansas is in need of an outside linebacker in this class since Wren de-committed. There are currently no apparent top targets at the position, but that should change soon.
There are a few options that the Hogs could pursue. They could go after a recruit they hadn’t previously. They could also try to get back into the discussion with a prospect they pushed for that committed elsewhere (See: Alston Orji and Thurman Geathers).
One creative theory is moving current safety commit Sean Michael Flanagan to outside linebacker. He would be an exceptional athlete at that spot and would only need to gain 15-20 pounds to play there. That would be a move likely made as a result of Arkansas feeling better about the safety targets out there than outside linebackers.
Regardless of the approach, the next month should provide a clear indication of which route the Hogs intend to take.
The post Arkansas football: The Razorbacks’ recruiting to-do list for October appeared first on SEC Country.