SEC Country reporter Trent Shadid will answer your Arkansas Razorbacks football recruiting questions each weekday in our recruiting question of the day mailbag. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs, @Shadid13 or by email to Trent at Shadid13@gmail.com.
Recruiting question of the Day: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Does having lesser rated players committing early at a position affect the recruitment of 4*+ players who aren’t ready to commit early? (OT in this class for example). Obviously won’t get all blue chips, but don’t want to fill those spots too early. How do you balance that?
— Alex Boatman (@aboatman27) March 12, 2018
This almost entirely depends on the number of scholarships a program has for a given class and/or has allocated for a position group. Alex mentioned the offensive tackle spot in this class for Arkansas, so let’s use that as the example.
I generally don’t view offensive line recruits as definitely a tackle or a guard, regardless of what their recruiting profile states. I sort of look at the scholarship spots as being there for the offensive line as a collective unit. With a few lineman recruits, it’s very obvious which spot they’ll play at the next level. But the majority could really end up playing any spot up front.
With that being said, Arkansas currently has one of what is projected to be at least three scholarship spots for the 2019 class taken on the offensive line. Beaux Limmer — a 3-star prospect from Tyler, Texas — is that lone commit. The Hogs are also among the top possibilities for several others, with a few of them being very highly-touted recruits.
So, is having Limmer committed a good idea at this time? Yes, I don’t see any issue with it. I understand why it’s easy to see it differently, but the staff really likes Limmer. He also gives Arkansas a committed presence in East Texas and is very unlikely to flip on the Hogs.
Maybe most importantly, though, is they still have room to take at least a couple top targets if Arkansas becomes their choice. It’s not as if Limmer is occupying the final available spot. In fact, I think part of the reason the Razorbacks haven’t offered Cole Birmingham is because they are waiting to see how things play out with some of their top offensive line targets.
If top in-state offensive linemen Darius Thomas and Stacey Wilkins wanted to commit, Arkansas has room for them. Both those 4-star recruits are near the top of Arkansas’ offensive line wish list.
Let’s say Thomas and Wilkins do commit and Arkansas is only holding three scholarship spots for the offensive line. Is there definitely no room for anyone else? Not necessarily. It just depends who that someone else might be.
For instance, if 5-star prospect Kenyon Green — who has Arkansas in his top 10 — wanted to commit, the Hogs would take him in an instant at any time. He’s too talented to turn down. They’d just have to figure out the scholarship situation later. That may mean shifting a scholarship over from another position group, or having a discussion with a current scholarship player who isn’t making an impact about possibly exploring other options. Those things always work themselves out.
It’s also common for coaches to let the recruits know when it’s time to commit or risk not having a spot. Those ultimatums can be uncomfortable for some, but it’s a necessary part of recruiting for almost every program.
As for positions where there is only one scholarship spot available in given class, Arkansas will be far more selective with offers to avoid missing out on a big-time recruit.
Quarterback in the 2019 class is a perfect example. The new staff has only reportedly offered seven quarterbacks in the group. They’ve only heavily recruited a few of them in an effort to make sure a top target is secured with what is expected to be only one available spot.
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