FAYETTEVILLE — The first hire Sam Pittman made at Arkansas was getting Brad Davis to coach the offensive line.
That move paid off as Arkansas signed a trio of talented offensive linemen, one early and then two in the late signing period. Arkansas landed Memphis (Tenn.) White Station offensive lineman Ray Curry Jr. early and then on Wednesday, Feb. 5, both St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic’s Jalen St. John and Memphis University School’s Marcus Henderson signed with the Razorbacks.
“I think the biggest piece of it all was getting all three of those guys here on campus,” Davis said. “Allowing them to feel the energy of this place, the hunger and desire that the fans have and the plan that Coach Pittman has. And those guys wanted that and believed in us.
“Everyone we recruited against and recruited head-up were trying to sell a different narrative about this job and this school. We got the kids boots on the ground here to see and feel it. It was an easy sell. Why it’s big because we believe great players will attract other great players and that is what we anticipate going forward.”
Davis had recruited all three of the linemen while at Missouri. Curry and St. John were committed to him while he was in at Missouri.
“I learned the value of building relationships with Coach Pittman,” Davis said. “Because he recruited me. I certainly wanted to go and play for him as a player, more so than anyone else in the country.
“When I had an opportunity to be a graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina he signed several elite guys who went on to play a long time in the National Football League. It was all based on a relationship. That was it. That’s the model we’re gonna use here. We’re gonna out-relationship people. We’re gonna build meaningful relationships, earn trust and we’re gonna recruit based on honesty and trust. I think that’s the things that will give us an edge over our competitors.”
Recruits such as Wynne’s Terry Wells and Maumelle’s Andrew Chamblee, two talented offensive line recruits, were at Arkansas’ Junior Day on Feb. 1. Both talked about what it means to have a former offensive line coach as the head coach at Arkansas.
“Not only the fact the head coach is an offensive line coach, but he’s the best offensive line coach in the country,” Davis said. “I think those are the things that are easy sells. Great players want to take to the next step in their careers when they go to college. They want to be developed. They want to be pushed and challenged. They want to have an opportunity to maximize the ability that they have.
“I think Coach Pittman and myself give really any kid in the country that best opportunity. I think we can develop kids into national elite players here. And we’re gonna do it our way, which is the right way.”
(Editor’s Note: This is Part 6 of a 10-part series on Arkansas’ assistant coaches.)
Click here for Part 1 (Jon Cooper, TE)
Click here for Part 2 (Sam Carter, CB)
Click here for Part 3 (Jimmy Smith, RB)
Click here for Part 4 (Rion Rhoades, LB)
Click here for Part 5 (Kendal Briles, QB-OC)