By Otis Kirk
Arkansas coach Chad Morris and his staff now turns to recruiting and looking forward to the 2019 season.
Morris met with the media on Friday following the game and when asked about Cole Kelley, who didn’t make the trips to Mississippi State and Missouri, and denied the quarterback had told him he was tranferring.
“No, no no,” Morris said. “We’ll discuss all that moving forward next week.”
Morris talked about the plans for the staff in the coming days and weeks.
“It’s about moving on now,” Morris said. “It’s about the 2019 season. It’s about recruiting. It’s about developing the players that we do have and it starts now. It starts today. We’ve been recruiting at a very high level this season and that’ll continue. We’ll be in homes on Sunday night and schools all day on Mondays through the next three solid weeks. That’s our focus moving forward. We’ll have a 7 a.m. team meeting on Monday and get ready to go.”
Safety Joe Foucha played as a true freshman including getting the start on Friday. He was credited with three tackles against Missouri.
“We’re going to use this season as a learning tool,” Morris said. “We’re going to get better in the offseason. Everyone got their feet wet, so…this last game is going to help us out a lot because we know what the SEC feels like for next year.”
While Friday was the last time Hjalte Froholdt will play for the Razorbacks he did give the current staff a very good endorsement. He was asked why he believes in this staff?
“These guys have been the same day in and day out,” Froholdt said. “They don’t veer off track. A lot of guys on social media complain and I understand it’s frustrating. It’s just as frustrating for us and I don’t blame them, but in the end, Coach says the same things every day. His message doesn’t change, his attitude doesn’t change, the coaches in there don’t change. They’re all on the same page. Of course we were 2-10 and people may say that message isn’t good enough, but I’m positive that it’s going to change eventually.”
Morris and his staff have 24 public commitments and two private ones. He was asked how hard it is to recruit off a 2-10 season?
“You have to sell who you are,” Morris said. “You have to sell the vision. You have to sell what’s coming. That’s what we’ve been selling from the start, when we started recruiting these young men. We’re selling them on an opportunity to come in here and contribute, and contribute early, and to play and make an impact the day you step on campus. That has not changed.
“That’s been our mission and that’s been our message to these young men and that won’t change. These guys will be able to come in and impact this program and continue to establish what we’re trying to put forth and it’ll happen the day they get on campus. We’re anticipating quite a few midyears, so they’ll have an opportunity to come in here and play and contribute quickly.”
Quarterback Connor Noland was one of 15 freshmen (redshirt and true) who played on Friday.
“Definitely it was a great class,” Noland said. “Young guys are improving. We’re getting better. We’re trying to develop ourselves. We’re looking forward to the future, getting back to work and I think the future is bright for us.”
Here’s a closer look at the numbers as Arkansas enters a critical time in recruiting.
Scholarship Players That Left During the Season (8):
Jarrod Barnes, WR, Sophomore
Chevin Calloway, CB, Sophomore (Status Never Announced)
Nate Dalton, DB, Junior
Kyrei Fisher, LB, Sophomore
Dylan Hays, C, Sophomore (Retired Due to Medical Issue)
Jalen Merrick, OG, Junior (Medical Hardship)
Derrick Munson, LB, Sophomore
Jonathan Nance, WR, Senior
Seniors Leaving (15):
Jared Cornelius, WR
Gary Cross, WR
Hjalte Froholdt, OL
Johnny Gibson, OG
Dre Greenlaw, LB
Kendrick Jackson, FB
Deion Malone, OL
Jeremy Patton, TE
Santos Ramirez, S
Randy Ramsey, DE
Kevin Richardson, DB
Michael Taylor, DE
Brian Wallace, OT
Armon Watts, DT
Austin Cantrell, TE (Junior Who Has Graduated, Doesn’t Plan to Return)
Key Targets Remaining in Recruiting:
Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson Grad Transfer (Morris will see Thursday)
Myron Cunningham, OT, Iowa Central College (Will visit Dec. 7-9)
Chibueze Nwanna, OT, Lackawanna (Pa.) Community College (Will visit Dec. 7-9)
Jalen Catalon, S, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy (Will announce in January, has already visited Hogs)
Gregory Brooks, CB, Harvey (La.) West Jefferson (Will announce on Dec. 19, has visited Hogs)
Dec. 7-9 Official Visits (5)
Myron Cunningham, OT, 6-6, 300, Iowa Central Community College
Chibueze Nwanna, OT, 6-7, 315, Lackawanna (Pa.) Community College
KJ Jefferson, QB, 6-3, 211, Sardis (Miss.) North Panola (Committed to Arkansas)
Andrew Vest, OL, 6-6, 310, Searcy (Committed to PWO at Arkansas)
TQ Jackson, WR, 6-2, 188, Jefferson (Texas) (Committed to Arkansas)