FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas interim head coach Barry Lunney Jr. addressed the recruiting situation now that Chad Morris has been fired.
Lunney and Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas’ Director of Athletics, met with the media on Monday. The subject of recruiting came up.
“I think the first thing is when you recruit a kid and you get a kid committed, usually it’s two-fold,” Lunney said. “Very seldom is a kid committed solely for the purpose of a coach. It’s usually split between a coach and the university, the draw, the program, the facilities, the educational opportunity, the culture and environment in northwest Arkansas.
“As a recruiter, we sell that, right? You go to a kid’s home, you don’t sell just yourself, you don’t sell just your coaching staff, you sell the university, you sell the Razorbacks, the state, the pride this state takes in our football program. I think you’ve just got to continue to sell that, and say, ‘Hey, you remember when we talked about this originally. This wasn’t just about one person, one coach. This was about our program.’ You remind them of that, you remind them of the great qualities of our university then you remind them that we have leadership in place that is without question going to make a decision that he thinks is best for 120 football players to bring a head coach in here that is going to want to connect with them and give them the opportunity to re-evaluate their situation in a positive manner.”
Arkansas has seen five of its 14 commitments decommit since the news of Morris’ firing broke. Also it’s common knowledge Highland Park (Texas) quarterback Chandler Morris won’t be at Arkansas. That puts the class down to nine players with more decommitments likely coming.
The players who have decommitted so far are all from Texas. They are Crockett tight end Allen Horace, Austin Westlake wide receiver Mason Mangum, Marshall wide receiver Savion Williams, Carthage athlete Kelvontay Dixon and Houston North Shore running back John Gentry.
Lunney talked about what the staff is doing to try and retain the prospects committed.
“We’re actively spending a lot of time on the phone yesterday with several of our commitments, encouraging them and reinforcing with them that they are wanted here and they’re going to be honored here,” Lunney said. “That doesn’t mean kids aren’t going to look somewhere else during this time, but our message to them is just sit tight. Sit tight. We’ve got a few weeks left. Let the dust settle. Just sit tight and let’s see how this thing plays out.”
Arkansas’ commitments at this time
Blayne Toll, DE, Hazen
Jashaud Stewart, DE, Jonesboro
Catrell Wallace, OLB, Bryant
Brandon Frazier, TE, McKinney (Texas) North
Darin Turner, WR-S, Memphis (Tenn.) Central
Mike Harris, CB, Phenix City (Ala.) Central
Drew Francis, LB, Knoxville (Tenn.) West
Tyrece Edwards, DE, Knoxville (Tenn.) West