FAYETTEVILLE — After a December of being on the road recruiting, trying to hire coaches, doing in-home visits with and hosting official visitors Sam Pittman feels some changes need to be made with transfer portal recruiting.
Pittman detailed his busy schedule in December.
“I’m embarrassed to tell you a little about December because December was fast and furious in a lot of ways,” Pittman said. “To be honest with you, I saw everybody that signed with us. I went into all their homes and that kind of stuff, but it was kind of the fast and the furious because you had the bowl that we were preparing for. I don’t know if our coaches were able to do as good of a job getting back. I did.
“The Lord’s blessed us with a jet, and we can fly around and all those things. But I don’t think you really know somebody until you get around them, until you get in their home, until you get in their school. I think it helps you when times are tough to understand where they come from and what their needs are and things of that nature.”
Then Pittman detailed what he feels are some changes that will necessary to preserve high school recruiting.
“I just don’t know that we can have playoffs, bowls, portal, lose two or three coaches,” Pittman said. “At that point, it was two positions to coordinators and a coordinator to a head coach. They’re all wonderful things, but how are you going to hire.
“And you know the fans, they want you to hire a guy before the other guy leaves. And I couldn’t do that on defense because we were out on the road trying to get to 23 homes in five days and then the portal guys, the only time you could see them was Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, I’m in Georgia, you know? It’s the only time. Well, if you don’t come back or you don’t send one of your coaches back, it’s a mess. But we’re going to ruin high school recruiting if we don’t close that portal down before we sign high school kids.”
Arkansas and other schools are still paying the price for recruiting during the COVID period. No visits or camps were allowed and all the recruiting was done on Zoom. Schools such as Arkansas that has to go to several states to fill its class that was a tough task to evaluate that way.
“Oh yeah, I think that and then at the same time, you don’t have camps,” Pittman said. “You want to not make a mistake. So what’s the highest percentage you can not make a mistake? And that is have them on campus and see them do the specific skill sets, skill drill set that you want to see. You might miss on character. You might. But you shouldn’t miss on athletic ability.
“And during that time, which was basically two years, you didn’t see anybody work out. You didn’t see them do basically any type of skill set. They could send you a film and they’re lifting 400 pounds. Well that means you’re strong but can you maintain your feet, can you get out of the way. What is it? I think yes, I think so and we should have less and less of that in the future of guys who – it’s not their fault but it’s our fault who we might have over-recruited.”
It will be interesting to see what the NCAA does concerning portal recruiting. They made some adjustments this year and one has to feel more are on the way.