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Pittman & Shannon Bird Dog Hog Recruits

Sam Pittman and Randy Shannon spearheaded a recruiting effort that paid dividends in spite of Arkansas Football's 3-9 record in 2013
FAYETTEVILLE-- As Bret Bielema ticked off the names in the Hogs 2014 signing class the obvious became more obvious. For the second straight year Arkansas cleaned up on 4 star offensive linemen, ground zero for Bielema's rebuilding strategy. These kids didn't pop up on Arkansas' board by magic. According to his colleagues one coach gets a lions share of the credit.

"Sam Pittman is the finest line recruiting coach in college football," Hogs offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said minutes after Bielema had announced the 2014 class.  "Nobody can get a relationship, develop a relationship and go get kids like Sam Pittman. And he does that because he sells something that is not fabricated, a good football coach that's going to teach them to be as good a player as they can be."

"Sam and (Pitman's wife) Jamie don't have kids so these kids here they really take in as their own," Arkansas' director of recruiting Chris Hauser explained. "I think that's talked about by the kids that are on the team already and they (recruits) see that during their official visit when they come here. They're just good people, people that, I think, kids want to be around and also parents want to entrust their kids with."

The other hot recruiter on Bielema's staff earned a new title for the coming season. Randy Shannon, now  Arkansas' senior associate head coach, helped land another load of south Florida kids, including Jo Jo Robinson, a speed receiver that Arkansas hasn't had since Jarius Wright and Joe Adams left after the 2011 season. Bielema recalled the long standing relationships that Shannon had established with coaches and athletics officials at Robinson's high school when they traveled there on a recruiting visits.

"I remember Randy and I went in there on one of our bye weeks. He was walking in the school and I think he had played (college football) with the AD, high school ball with the football coach and the defensive coordinator," Bielema said with a smile. "You see the rapport he has at Miami Northwestern."

Bielema claims his staff is just getting started. The plan is to lock down Arkansas, while pushing harder into Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Shannon will continue to mine for South Florida talent and Pittman will go wherever necessary to bag top rated offensive linemen.


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