Arkansas’ frustrations of close losses came to an end Saturday with a 39-36 road victory over Florida in overtime.
The reversed fortunes at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium gave Arkansas' fans and commitments some reprieve.
The Razorbacks were in the midst of six-game losing streak, and five of those losses had come by one possession. Seeing Arkansas come out of a close game victorious brought excitement to the team's pledges.
Four-star quarterback commitment KJ Jackson of St. James High School in Montgomery, Ala., said he saw a fighting band of Razorbacks. He praised coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Kenny Guiton.
“I just love the way the team fights,” Jackson said. “They overcame their big challenge in winning close games late. The team rallied under Coach G and showed tremendous heart. Coach Pitt definitely showed today that he has control over the locker room, and I’m proud to be a Hog.
"It is something that I definitely want to be a part of. Can’t wait to get up there and contribute. Woo Pig.”
The Razorbacks improved to 3-6, and kept their bowl hopes alive. It was Arkansas’ first road victory over the Gators.
Four-star defensive line pledge Kevin Henderson of Leeds, Ala., was proud of the effort and win.
“I think the whole team played great," Henderson said. "As a whole [the] offense looked a lot better and the D-line had a great game, too, playing the run and the pass."
Arkansas receiver commitment CJ Brown of Bentonville was direct about his approval.
“Kenny Guiton," Brown said. That’s it. He’s that guy.”
Safety pledge Jeremy Cook of Hoover, Ala., liked the fight he saw from the team.
“It was crazy,” he said. “I love the way they fought and played hard for that win. That should be the mindset every game.”
Fort Smith Southside offensive linerman and Hog pledge Kobe Branham also praised Guiton.
"Big time win, so happy for coach Guiton today and all the staff,” he said. "Feels good to be a Hog.”
Highly recruited receiver Ashton Bethel-Roman of Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point was another commitment who sung the praises of Guiton.
“Great win for the team, Coach Pittman and Coach G,” said Bethel-Roman, who picked the Hogs over more than 20 scholarship offers. “Excited to see how they build on this win. I am so happy for Coach G.”
Defensive back pledge Tevis Metcalf of Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville called the win “great."
“It was a really good game,” Metcalf said. “The team played really hard and didn’t give up. The Arkansas fans were into the game and showed a lot of support for the players and coaches. Offense played faster and the defense makes some key stops and special teams came through.”
Future Razorback offensive lineman Zuri Madison of Lexington, Ky. (Frederick Douglass sees the Hogs building off the victory.
“I am thrilled and it is setting the tone for what’s to come in the season and years to come,” he said.