Recruiting Roundup: Wrapping up 2021, early enrollees and new offers
Each Friday, HawgBeat's Alex Trader will write a recruiting notebook filled with tidbits on Arkansas commits and top targets, including the best games, performances and where each are playing that particular week.
Arkansas signee Andrew Chamblee accepted his jersey for the 2022 All-American Bowl Wednesday via a virtual presentation ceremony.
To get an early look at what Chamblee and the rest of the incoming Hogs can do against some of the nation's best, tune in to NBC on Jan. 8 at noon.
Arkansas' 15th-ranked 2022 class will be bringing with it a school-record 18 early enrollees. As well as a school record, the team leads the entire SEC, outnumbering rivals LSU and Missouri by more than 10. With those numbers comes some optimism from Sam Pittman as he looks to introduce the new group into the program.
“You get a guy in spring ball, you have a chance,” Pittman said. “You have a chance to play. Certainly the ones that are ready, we'll get ready. The ones that aren't, hopefully we can get them on some type of special teams and help us through there.”
A pair of guys who are already seeing their dreams of playing for the Razorbacks come to fruition, however, with LB Kaden Henley and DE JJ Hollingsworth both attending practices during Arkansas' leadup to the Outback Bowl vs. Penn State.
“It was awesome to see them looking around lost,” Pittman said. “I walked up to them a couple times and said, ‘hey, you see all these guys around here? They were lost, too. Just kind of fit in where you get in.’ … They have no clue what’s going on, but they’re so excited to be in Arkansas here.”
2023 target earns LAFB honors
Many (La.) linebacker target Tackett Curtis capped off his 2021 season with co-defensive player of the year honors for the state of Louisiana. With 128 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and three interceptions and forced fumbles apiece, it's hard to argue the deservedness of the award.
Rated as a 6.0 four-star, Curtis holds more than 40 FBS offers from around the country. Despite an offer sheet holding the likes of Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Texas A&M and USC, Curtis has expressed legitimate interest in the Razorbacks to HawgBeat.
It's big board season
With the 2022 class all-but wrapped up for the Razorbacks, it's time to take a look ahead to some of Arkansas' top priorities ahead of the 2023 cycle. A trio of talented QBs have set themselves apart on the staff's radar, but with so much chaos on the trail, there are a number of guys holding offers (or maybe even committed elsewhere) that may be worth keeping an eye on.
Momentum heading into 2022
It's no secret that winning plays a big role in landing top recruits, and after an eight (potentially nine)-win season Sam Pittman knows what he has going for him on the trail.
One key for the Head Hog since his arrival has been locking down his region, and that hasn't changed with the sudden burst of success.
"We want to be known as hard to beat in this region, you know, whether it be Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, we want to be a team that, 'Man an Arkansas offer, they're gonna be hard to beat,'" Pittman said.
As well as keeping guys in the surrounding area, there are some previously unopened doors that seem to be cracked as a result of not only the Razorbacks' 2021 showing, but also the continuity within the staff.
"Especially early here, we've gotten a lot of returns on our text messages," Pittman said. "And people you know, very, very interested in it. So we've had a few guys say they want to come so I think it's helped us tremendously be honest with you."