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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas assistant coach Mark Smith speaks with players Wednesday, March 28, 2018, during practice at the university's practice facility on campus in Fayetteville. - Photo by Andy Shupe

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville football coaching staff hit the road for the spring evaluation period Wednesday, visiting several states during the week.

The Hogs are known to have visited schools in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, California and Arizona, where cornerbacks coach Mark Smith saw a couple of top junior-college prospects.

"The footprint is Arkansas, Oklahoma, the Tulsa area and Memphis on the east side of Arkansas, and then obviously in the Dallas-Fort Worth area into Texas," said Smith, who also serves as recruiting coordinator. "That's kind of our regional footprint, and we want to be heavy in there. So everybody has an Arkansas area, and everybody has an area within the footprint. Everybody kind of has some other little slice within the Southeastern Conference."

Under Coach Chad Morris, each assistant coach will have recruiting responsibilities inside the state. The staff will visit all 208 schools that field a football team.

"The main emphasis is to make sure we're in every school that plays football in the state of Arkansas this spring, and we will be," Smith said. "Everyone is going to hit everyone in their area Arkansas schools. This is the only area where we're hitting every single school. When we go outside the state of Arkansas, we're just spotting. We're just going to specific schools for guys we're targeting.

"We feel like there's a lot of players in Arkansas that maybe don't get seen as often, and it's also about building the relationships with the high school coaches. That's really important to Coach Morris and all of us."

Schools are allowed 168 evaluation days from April 15 to May 31. Each day a coach is on the road counts as an evaluation. For instance, if 10 coaches were out five days, that would count as 50 evaluation days.

"We divided that up with 16 days for the eight assistant coaches, and the two coordinators have 20 days so they can have four more than the rest just because they have to get outside their area and see some other guys here and there," Smith said.

Coaches are allowed to watch prospects practice or work out, but they cannot have face-to-face communication with the athletes. When the Hogs recruit a prospect outside the regional footprint or SEC region, the athlete will be recruited by his potential position coach.

The coaches will visit junior colleges early in the evaluation process because most schools are about halfway through their spring practice. The Hogs try to plan when they want to see a high school prospect practice.

"A lot of high schools don't start until that last week of April or the first week of May, as far as watching practices," Smith said. "That's part of the organization because when you go, you have to be strategic because you really want to see them work out."

Each assistant coach will visit about seven schools a day.

"That's a pretty good day, sometimes more, sometimes less," Smith said. "You're probably seeing two or three guys that can play at each school."

Hogs lose out

Junior-college All-American wing Rashawn Fredericks orally committed to Cincinnati on Saturday evening, several hours after making an official visit to Arkansas.

Fredericks, 6-6, 198 pounds, of Motlow State Community College in Tennessee officially visited Cincinnati the previous weekend.

He was named to the first-team National Association of Basketball Coaches Junior College All-American Team after averaging 17.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.5 block shots and 1 assist a game. He shot 46.7 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Email Richard Davenport at

Sports on 04/22/2018


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  • MaxCady
    April 22, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.

    Alabama on the other hand, has 16 LOI (that's letters of intent for you old people) and 4 enrollees from recruits from 13 different states!!! I'm talking from sea to shining sea!! Cali to Connecticut! And did I mention Bama had 74,000+ fans at their spring game even though their national championship hero, Tua Tagovailoa didn't even play!! Wooo Pig Phooey!! ROLL TIDE!!

  • Delta2
    April 22, 2018 at 3:15 p.m.

    They've pretty much got the strategy backward. They're going to hit every school in Arkansas, where the talent pool is shallow, and just "spotting" outside the state, where the talent pool is much deeper. It's a recipe for continued mediocrity. Seriously, does anyone think that the fans really care where the players come from, as long as they're winning?