Hiring Staff, Recruiting Keys For Sam Pittman Now

Hog Recruiting

Photo by Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman was hired on Sunday and he will now begin forming a staff and recruiting.

He will have one weekend available to him for recruiting before the dead period begins. Arkansas currently has six commitments. Of the six, Hazen defensive end Blayne Toll and Phenix City (Ala.) Central cornerback Mike Harris have used their official visits to Arkansas. The NCAA only allows one official to each school regardless of a coaching change.

Toll is a little different from the remaining of the commitments in that he’s a midterm recruit. He will begin attending school in January and go through spring drills. So Pittman will make him a priority and get into Toll’s home this week. While Toll has used his official visit, if he and his family thought it necessary they could visit this weekend unofficially. The difference in official and unofficial is the school can’t pay for an unofficial. Prior to his pledge to Arkansas, Toll had officially visited Tennessee and also considered Oklahoma as well as others.

The other commitments are Jonesboro defensive end Jashaud Stewart, Bryant outside linebacker Catrell Wallace and the Knoxville (Tenn.) West pair of linebacker Drew Francis and defensive end Tyrece Edwards.

With the early signing period Dec. 18-20 it’s likely that Pittman would like to get as many of that group as possible in this weekend for an official visit. Stewart reportedly plans to sign late as did fellow Jonesboro recruit Noah Gatlin who will be a redshirt sophomore at Arkansas next season.

Wallace and Bryant repeated as Class 7A state champions this past weekend downing North Little Rock 21-7.

Arkansas is also likely to recruit Morrilton quarterback Jacolby Criswell now. He’s committed to North Carolina and has an official visit planned there this weekend. The Razorbacks had planned to sign only one quarterback in this class and Chandler Morris was committed to play for his father. Criswell would be a nice addition for Pittman.

There’s possibly some other in-state recruits the Hogs could look at including North Little Rock’s pair of running back Brandon Thomas and offensive lineman Erin Smith along with Conway offensive lineman Robert Scott. Thomas is committed to Memphis, Smith to SMU and Scott is an Ole Miss pledge. Memphis and Ole Miss, like Arkansas, have had coaching changes.

Georgia has five offensive linemen committed in the Class of 2020. It’s likely that if any of the five want to come to Arkansas then Pittman will be open the idea. Among them are Lithonia (Ga.) five-star Broderick Jones, Rome (Ga.) Darlington School four-star Tate Ratledge, New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton four-star Sedrick Van Pran, League City (Texas) Clear Creek four-star Chad Lindberg and Live Oak (Fla.) Suwannee four-star Joshua Braun. Lindberg has been to Arkansas on an unofficial visit previously.

Pittman is interviewing some coaches this morning according to sources. A few names as far as assistants were mentioned in this space last night.

Once all the preliminaries are out of the way as far as being introduced and initial press conference with media then Pittman will hit the recruiting trail hard for remainder of week.

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