Since 1978, national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has traveled the nation about six months of the year and for about 60,000 miles a year meeting the top college football prospects.
During the Bobby Petrino and Bret Bielema eras, he noticed an uptick in recruits listing the University of Arkansas as a school of high interest. This year, the amount of top prospects naming the Razorbacks as a favorite is the highest he's seen.
"I've never seen Arkansas mentioned this much nationally by top players, and I've been doing this for 40 years," Lemming said. "I've never seen them on so many ball players. That's the key, getting on them early."
Lemming, whose TV show The Lemming Report airs on CBS Sports Network, was in Little Rock on Saturday to meet the top prospects in central Arkansas. During each stop, Lemming has recruits fill out an in-depth questionnaire.
He said Coach Chad Morris and his staff have expanded Arkansas' footprint by reaching out to a higher number of high-profile prospects.
"You can see where Alabama has their name on a lot of kids' questionnaires and that's what they do," said Lemming, who played himself in the movie The Blind Side. "Arkansas is taking a page from what they're doing and going after a lot of top prospects."
Prior to making his way to Arkansas, Lemming was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and saw numerous top prospects, including Razorback targets such as defensive tackle Branard Wright of Dallas Carter, safety Chris Thompson Jr. of Duncanville, and linebacker Brennon Scott of Dallas Bishop Dunne.
"I had 30 All-Americans meet there, and a good number of them mentioned Arkansas," Lemming said. "I always ask them their top nine schools, and Arkansas was mentioned. Which is good because you'll see Southern Cal, Florida, Notre Dame, schools like that."
Highland Park quarterback and Arkansas target Chandler Morris-- who was accompanied by his father, Chad Morris -- was included on the list of high-profile prospects who met with Lemming at Grand Prairie High School.
Morris, 6-0, 190 pounds, 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, completed 266 of 411 passes for 4,055 yards and 46 touchdowns while throwing only 6 interceptions and rushing 131 times for 652 yards and 19 scores while leading Highland Park to a third consecutive Texas 5A Division 1 state championship as a junior.
Lemming is impressed with Morris, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Clemson, Auburn and others.
"He's a coach on the field, you can see that on the film," Lemming said. "Being a coach's son, he seems to be one step ahead of other quarterbacks. He's got a great arm, good feet, he can run himself out of trouble even though he's not a 4.4 sprinter, but the thing I liked about him the most that could make him a star in college was his precision passing. He can thread the needle and he's not afraid to throw the ball on the run."
After chatting with Chad Morris, Lemming understands why the Hogs are showing up on more questionnaires of top recruits.
"I thought Chad was really in tune to recruiting," Lemming said. "I thought he has his fingers on the pulse of recruiting."
While coaching is key in helping programs win, Lemming believes Morris is in line with others who know it's all about recruiting.
"Coach Morris and other guys have realized that no matter how good of a coach you -- I've heard this from Pete Carroll and Phil Fulmer, Mack Brown, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer that are great recruiters -- they say no matter how great of a coach you are, you win with the impact players," Lemming said.
Lemming, whose first All-American team in 1979 included NFL greats Dan Marino, John Elway, Roger Craig and Eric Dickerson, currently has Arkansas' class ranked No. 15 nationally.
"I think the Class of 2019 is loaded with potential impact players," Lemming said. "As a matter of fact on my TV show, I mentioned Arkansas being the big surprise team nationally. You didn't expect them to do so well because of the results on the field, which makes it a very bright future for the Razorbacks."
Email Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports on 01/08/2019
Print Headline: Recruiting analyst hears Hogs mentioned often