Bielema says his staff has great recruiting abilities

Here is a picture of my grandson Luke Hatcher with a football he won at the Saline County Razorback Club and it was signed by Coach Bret Bielema.

(I got to write about this meeting that Bielema attended for the Saline Courier and my article is online.)

At the Saline County Razorback Fish Fry on 3-27-13 I got to hear Arkansas Football Coach Bret Bielema speak and he said that Arkansas has put together a great bunch on recruiters on their football staff. In an earlier interview with ESPN Bielema said, “It was extremely important to hire a group of coaches who were relentless recruiters. I think this is the first time I can say that all nine of my assistants are detail guys and they love to recruit. That’s going to pay dividends, and they all have a vast amount of experience. We’ve got NFL. We’ve got SEC. We’ve got every type of conference known to man. It’s going to be fun to watch this group grow. If you talked to every one of my assistants, no one is enjoying this more than we are. I’ve got a group that’s engaged with a lot of different chemistry and a lot of different personalities coming through, and they’ve all been great.”

That reminds me of what Lane Kiffin tried to do the one year he was at Tennessee. Bielema pointed out at the Razorback Club Meeting that Arkansas got Reeve Koehler to flip from Tennessee to Arkansas because of his relationship with Jim Chaney who left Tennessee to take the position as the Hog offensive coordinator.

The same thing happened to Dan Skipper according to an earlier article from Sporting News:

Over the last few months of Derek Dooley’s tenure at Tennessee, offensive lineman Dan Skipper stood by his future coach when interviewed by Sporting News. He wasn’t worried about the on-the-field struggles and said he felt the offense was heading in the right direction.

Then the coaching change happened, and the Colorado native loosened his stance. Over the weekend, he took an official visit to Arkansas and decided to switch his commitment from the Volunteers to the Razorbacks. It was another example of what Tennessee’s new staff will have to battle to get the program back to where it was when it was competing for SEC titles.

Michigan, Ohio State and Ole Miss also received official visits from the 6-foot-10, 290-pound Skipper in the past two months.

“I’m going to go to Arkansas, I felt like it was a great overall experience, and have the best atmosphere,” Skipper told “It really surprised me how much I liked it, I knew that going in. I was surprised by the academic support staff, I think that was actually what sold me. I’d like to (major in) Material Science engineering, that’s kind of the plan, they’ve got football players doing it. They have the support and the resources and it just seemed like a good fit.”

While Tennessee’s recruiting may be slipping a bit, Arkansas’s is picking up steam under new coach Bret Bielema. Skipper is the sixth player to commit to the Razorbacks in the past 10 days, and they now have 17 players moving toward national signing day on Feb. 6.


Randy ShannonSteve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsArkansas assistant Randy Shannon, the former Miami head coach, should provide a lift to the Hogs’ recruiting efforts in Florida.

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