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: Thursday, March 15, 2018
Based on what you have seen in practice and heard from coaches, what is the biggest need for next year's class?
— Aaron Kizer (@AaronKizer53) March 12, 2018
The area I think is the greatest need and what I think the coaching staff sees as the greatest need are actually two different position groups. Only one of those opinions matters, obviously, but I’ll still give you perspective on both.
Based on what I think, it’s offensive line. The unit really needs an overhaul as it is, and the top players within the group are soon to be departing.
Left guard Hjalte Froholdt and right tackle Brian Wallace — both seniors — have been the most impressive offensive linemen on the roster so far this spring. Fellow senior Johnny Gibson is also a strong candidate to start at right guard for a third straight season.
The Razorbacks project to have 13 scholarship offensive linemen next season. That’s probably right around where the new staff will want to stay, so there are three very important scholarships coming available within the unit. I also wouldn’t be surprised if that number swells to four or even five between now and the early signing period in December.
Arkansas already has offensive lineman Beaux Limmer committed to the 2019 class. At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, he is a great fit for the Hogs’ new offensive system. The ideal situation for Arkansas would be adding top in-state offensive linemen Darius Thomas and Stacey Wilkins to the commitment list. That would give the Hogs an impressive core group of three pledges. Joseph Stone and Trevor Roberson are two others the staff would love to add. So, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if another couple scholarships came open within the offensive line.
I get the sense Chad Morris is viewing wide receiver as the greatest need in this class, though. That’s based on what I’ve heard, seen, who has been offered and who has visited campus.
They would obviously never publicly say this, but I don’t think the coaching staff is all that fond of the overall group it inherited at receiver. There should be enough to work with in the first season. But after seniors Jared Cornelius and Jonathan Nance gone, it’s a bunch of unproven talent this staff didn’t recruit.
At least a couple players will undoubtedly emerge as suitable options. But even then, this offense needs at least five receivers that can be relied upon at any given time. The staff also views up-and-coming depth at receiver as a must.
Arkansas has 12 wide receivers on scholarship and will have three definitely departing after the 2018 season. It’s very likely the Hogs use at least those three spots coming available to put back into the receiver group.
There’s reason for optimism regarding who Arkansas might bring in at receiver, too. The Hogs don’t currently have a receiver committed, but that should change before long. As many as five of the top 20 receivers in the class are taking a serious look at the Razorbacks.
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