FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman is planning to take advantage of an NCAA rule that removed the 25 recruits per year rule and now allows a school to recruit as many players as spots are available under the 85-overall limit.

Pittman and the Hogs have 23 commitments for the Class of 2023, but they are by no means finished with the class. They have offers out to some high school recruits as well as junior college prospects. Once the players can get in the portal in early December the Hogs plan to be busy.

“What’s happened now is you’re not locked to 25, you’re locked to 85,” Pittman said. “And so you know if you look at Ole Miss, I think five or six of their starters on defense are transfer portal guys, and the offense is I don’t think quite that many, but they’ve got a lot of receivers that transferred and they’re not necessarily starting, some are, but that transferred in there. Obviously, Zack Evans is a transfer guy, (Jaxson) Dart, you know.”

Arkansas has also started several players it recruited from the transfer portal as well. Among the transfers who have made an impact on defense this season are ends Jordan Domineck (Georgia Tech) and Landon Jackson (LSU), tackle Terry Hampton (Arkansas State), linebacker Drew Sanders (Alabama), safety Latavious Brini (Georgia) and cornerback Dwight McGlothern (LSU).

On offense, some of the key transfers have been wide receivers Jadon Haselwood (Oklahoma), Matt Landers (Toledo), Warren Thompson (Florida State), quarterback Cade Fortin (South Florida), offensive tackle Ty’Kieast Crawford (Charlotte) and tight end Nathan Bax (Illinois State) and kickoff specialist Jake Bates (Texas State).

Pittman’s first two teams at Arkansas also had some key transfers in addition to Thompson, Crawford and Bax. Quarterback Feleipe Franks (Florida) was a huge addition to Arkansas’ first class under Pittman.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I’m not going to sit here and be bull-headed and lose a whole bunch of games and all that stuff because I don’t believe that maybe that’s the right way to do it, you know what I mean?,” Pittman said. “And we had our share of transfer portal, too. I hate the fact that we can’t go and – we can – recruit 20-25 high school kids every year. But the world doesn’t wait on you long enough. If you’re trying to build a program within four or five years, you get to year three or whatever, and you’re gone.

“And everybody wants to win now. So, yes. I think it certainly has changed the way that I’ve looked at the transfer portal, too. For us, it’s always been ‘where is our immediate need? That’s where we’re going to go, and that’s it.’ We’re going to tell the kids that we have on our team that we either need depth, or we need a starter there when we do that, and we know that. I’m very conscious about that for our team. But now, I think if you have a really good player, regardless of what position he is, and he wants to come, you take him. Before, I wouldn’t do that. Before, I was like ‘No, I’m going to be loyal to these guys. They’re plenty good enough for us to win the SEC’ and stuff like that. But part of that too has become with all the injuries that we’ve had this year, your backup better be as good as your starter or close to it. That’s maybe shown a little bit for us this year, where if we had went in the transfer portal a little bit more, maybe we’d be a little bit better off record-wise and hopefully team-wise, too.”

Arkansas recently offered Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Class of 2023 cornerback Kendel Dolby, 5-11, 180. He is a junior college All-America who will enroll at his new school in January. He recently released a Top 10 of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Washington, Washington State, Utah State, Louisiana, Missouri, Houston and Kansas.

This season, Dolby had 47 tackles, 27 solo, seven for loss, 2.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, two interceptions and no touchdowns allowed.

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