FAYETTEVILLE — By all accounts recruiting will open back up with campus visits beginning June 1.
Recruits in the Class of 2021 in many cases had to choose a college they had never been to because of the COVID-19 rules put in place March, 2020. Sam Pittman was asked about this on Wednesday.
“It’s very important and very exciting,” Pittman said. “You look at last year and these guys making college decisions and never had the opportunity to step foot on campus for the most part. If you really think about it, it’s kind of crazy. But it was what it was and the NCAA did a nice job with allowing kids to come on their own and at least see the area, the downtown and things of that nature, dormitories and whatever that might be.”
Assuming these restrictions are lifted as expected, Pittman knows June will be a recruiting whirlwind.
“We are very excited about it,” Pittman said. “We know June is going to be really crazy, but if you really look back on it, every June is crazy. There might be a few more. Your days are still I think June 1 through June, however many days, 30. It will be a little less than that, the 27th or whatever it may be. It will just be more people.”
Arkansas has already started setting up official visits for the June 4-6 weekend and beyond.
“I love the set up of how the NCAA has five officials and things of that nature,” Pittman said. “They have earned the scholarships and should be able to go visit as many schools as they are interested and at the end of the day be able to make an educated decision on where they want to spend their time.”
In addition to visits in June, it appears Arkansas is on its way to hosting camps as well.
“As of right now,” Pittman said. “I don’t know if they are voting on that right now, today and tomorrow. But what we understand, if everything passes, it’s going that direction than basically our June will get back to the old calendar.”
In addition the one-time transfer reportedly was approved after Pittman had his Zoom with reporters. Pittman offered up his thoughts on the transfer rules as well.
“I do think that it’s going to pass, and I do think it could be very good for the kids,” Pittman said. “I know we all sit here and say, well if you make a decision then we’re teaching these kids that quitting or leaving or moving is OK, and all that. But if you look at it in the coaching world, coaches are able to go take different jobs, and they do.
“That was one of the biggest things about leaving Georgia, the signing date was probably 10 days away, maybe 14 days away, and we had five offensive linemen committed, and I had the right to come to Arkansas and be the head coach.
“So I think it’s headed in the right direction. I think the one-time transfer is the key there, though. I don’t think it’s, let’s transfer once a year, you know? It’s a one-time transfer and at some point you’ve got to stick and make it happen and make it work for you.”
Pittman said each sport is different as it relates to transfers. He credited Eric Musselman for using it very wisely in basketball.
“We’ve got a basketball coach who is really using the transfer portal to Arkansas’ advantage,” Pittman said. “For me, it’s more of a pick and play. It would be very source of need, and we would need to know the guy. I really would like for him to have played so we can see game tape on him. Like a Feilipe Franks. I was fortunate to have played against him there at Florida when I was at Georgia. I was able to see him not only on tape, but see his mannerisms on and off the field.”
Pittman has repeatedly said he would like to find a pass rusher in the transfer portal. He also mentioned one other position of possible interest.
“Well, we might take a tight end,” Pittman said. “But I’d like to be able to get in 12-personnel, two tight ends on the field at the same time. The bottom line is whoever we took, it would have to be a D-lineman or somebody with the ball in his hand. I don’t think we’d take an offensive lineman in the portal right now.”