The past few years have trotted out more of the same from the Arkansas Razorbacks. Bret Bielema has seen his classes rank 11th, 11th, 9th and now 10th in the SEC from 2014-2017. Those classes have seen a total of one five-star player: 2016 defensive end McTelvin Agim, who made a pretty solid impact in his freshman season and 20 four-star players.
While they haven’t been able to break out form the middle of the pack in one of the hardest divisions in football, they took a pretty strong stride on National Signing Day Wednesday with a few big splashes. Let’s entail how the Hogs fared.
Not one, but two...
Four-star players were signed on National Signing Day. Cornerback Chevin Calloway and safety Montaric Brown were brought in to eventually assist a defense that has needed a bit of a jolt.
They join fellow four-stars Jeremy Patton and Brandon Martin as signees for the 2017 class, giving the Hogs four in total.
Brown ranked as the best player in the state in Arkansas and within the Top 20 at his position. Calloway meanwhile is ranked 17th at his position and 22nd in the talent-rich state of Texas. With seven returnees set to be in Arkansas’ secondary next year including rising senior Josh Liddell, Calloway and Brown may not see the field quite yet. When they do though, expect them to make a big impact.
Owning the state of Arkansas
Four of the Top 5 players in the state of Arkansas are set to be Hogs this fall, which continues a trend that Bret Bielema has been able to pull off in each of the last three seasons. The only year where Arkansas was unable to reel in that kind of haul was 2014, and even then, the Razorbacks were able to get commitments from three of the five best players in the state.
In addition, this marks the third year in the last four that the top recruit in the state is headed to Fayetteville. This time around, it’s the aforementioned Brown, while Agim and Bijhon Jackson were the top guys in 2016 and 2014. Ohio State’s K.J. Hill is the lone #1 player from Arkansas to not suit up for the Razorbacks, but with these trends swinging in Bielema’s favor, it’s hard to really lose sleep.
Furthermore, Arkansas’ success dwells farther than just 1-5. The Hogs were also able to get defensive end David Porter, the 10th-ranked player in the state, to commit to them. With safety Hayden Henry and offensive guard Ty Clary in the mix as well, the Hogs have seven players from the state of Arkansas on their squad for 2017.
26 in-state players in the Top 20 have been hauled in by Bielema over the past four years. Credit given where it’s due: The Hogs have absolutely owned the state of Arkansas and that trend continued with their Class of 2017.
Aiding the secondary
As mentioned, Calloway and Brown have been brought in to hopefully give the Razorbacks’ secondary some juice. They weren’t the only defensive backs to be signed on Wednesday however. In addition to them, three-star cornerbacks Jarques McClellion and Jordon Curtis were picked up as well. Three-star athlete Kamren Curl, who is expected to join McClellion, Curtis, Calloway and Brown in the secondary was also brought in to strengthen the