Arkansas coach Chad Morris has repeatedly stressed that recruiting is a 365 days a year a job for himself and his staff. That dedication has so far paid dividends with a class of 2019 that included a school-record 13 players ranked in the Top 500 nationally, according to 247Sports.
Now that the bar has been set with a consensus Top 25 class, what’s next?
With yet another season to evaluate, Morris expects to set an even higher standard for the Razorback recruiting class of 2020. “We’ve got to have an even better class next year. We’ve got to keep pushing the bar higher,” he recently told sports radio host Bo Mattingly. “We’re going to continue to keep pushing. It never stops.”
“We’ve had one cycle, essentially, under our belts. We addressed some major needs. We’ve got to get better. We’ve to continue to push and address needs in this 2020 class,” he added.
“It’s already started. We used the month of January to do a lot of 2020 recruiting. We’ve got to continue to come and stack good classes on top of good classes.”
Morris and his gunner assistants have already come with a nickname for the class: The 2020 Diamond Gang. Mining for diamonds is an apt metaphor. The coaches have some hard work cut out of them. In 2019, they had the benefit of a stacked in-class state featuring strong Razorback leans (and eventual signees) Treylon Burks and Hudson Henry. Both players were rated as high four stars.
The in-state class of 2020 pickings aren’t nearly as strong.
The top players are:
- Jacolby Criswell, rated a 3-star 6-1, 203 pound dual threat quarterback out of Morrilton (also offered by Georgia and Mississippi State)
- Blayne Toll, rated as a 3-star 6-5, 235 pound defensive end/tight end out of Hazen (also offered by Kansas and Louisville)
If Chad Morris and his staff can still sign a top 20 class in a down year in-state, then that will be an ever more impressive feat. So far, they have offered well over 100 c/o 2020 players. On Friday, the Hogs got their first commit in Ze’Vian Capers, a big wide receiver from Georgia.
Most of the other players are rated as “cool” on Arkansas or already committed elsewhere. Here are the players rated “warm” on Arkansas, according to 247 Sports.
There is a fourth “warm” prospect — four-star receiver Jordan Johnson from St. Louis. He’s considered a 100% lean to Notre Dame, however.
Arkansas has already gotten off to a great start recruiting the football class of 2020, according to national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. Lemming told Mattingly he’s been on the road since September and watched a lot of the top kids. At the end of his evaluations, he gives each of them a questionnaire. On it, he asks for them to write the top nine colleges “which have been working them the most. And Arkansas is on a good number of the questionnaires, which not only bodes well for this class – but for the future of the Arkansas Razorbacks.”
Below, listen to to more recruiting Class of 2020 insight from Chad Morris at the 4:25 mark below. Tom Lemming is at the 36:48 mark.
Read more about the first commit of the Class of 2020 below: