Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss signing multi-sport athletes, a linebacker signee and more.
Arkansas placing high value on multi-sport athletes
Former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was a huge supporter of recruiting multi-sport athletes. That stance won’t change under new coach Chad Morris.
During the early signing period last month, Morris specifically discussed his fondness for pursuing prospects who play more than one sport at the high school level. The Hogs’ new coach sees the benefits of partaking in more than one sport from a multitude of perspectives.
“I want players that play multiple sports,” Morris said. “I feel like that does a couple things. Number one is it develops an overall, well-rounded skill set. And two, it shows me that this young man can be coached in different ways. Every coach that he deals with in a different sport coaches him a little bit different. If I have players that are dead equal and one plays one sport or the others plays two sports, I’m going to go after the two-sport first.”
Quarterback signee Connor Noland is a perfect example of the type of athlete Morris likes to sign. A 4-star quarterback by the 247Sports composite, Noland is also a standout right-handed pitcher at Greenwood (Ark.) High School.
Noland is talented enough there is some concern he may not even make it to campus if selected high enough in the 2018 MLB Draft. Morris, however, is unconcerned about the possibility of his prized quarterback signee opting to skip college.
“I know [Noland’s] a fantastic baseball player,” Morris said. “I look forward to watching him play, as a matter of fact, this spring. All indications are he’s going to be here and be ready to go.”
Arkansas offers top JUCO defensive end Dorian Gerald
Arkansas extended an offer to defensive end Dorian Gerald on Sunday. Gerald is a 4-star recruit and the No. 1 strong-side end prospect at the junior college level in the 2018 class.
Gerald (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) played at College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., last season. He had 54 tackles and 12 sacks in 11 games. He attended high school in Florence, S.C., but had no offers before heading to junior college.
His offer list now has more than 15 Power 5 schools. That list includes three of the four College Football Playoff teams — Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Chad Morris loves signee Bumper Pool’s mentality at LB
Morris and linebacker signee Bumper Pool have a longstanding relationship that began with Morris recruiting Pool to SMU. The Mustangs were even one of Pool’s early favorites as a result of his relationship with Morris.
As the offers picked up for the 4-star prospect from Allen, Texas, SMU naturally became somewhat of an afterthought. But once Morris was hired to coach the Hogs, Pool couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
Once Pool was officially signed, Morris shared his thoughts on his relationship with Pool and what he likes about his ability.
“We had recruited Bumper for quite some time,” Morris said. “I’ve got a lot of insight on him. I’m excited about what he brings with a hard-nosed mentality at that linebacker position.”
Pool has graduated high school and will be on campus at Arkansas in January.
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