The Arkansas Razorbacks can finally expect some semblance of order now that most of the coaching transition is complete.
A coaching transition wreaks havoc on a program. After a coach leaves, whether it be by firing or taking a job elsewhere, players inevitably leave as well. Sometimes they follow their coach to another school, sometimes they enroll in a junior college, sometimes they transfer to a school in another conference. Regardless of where they go, the program always needs to start filling the holes made by the outgoing players.
Arkansas was no different. Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith and co. are all gone, and new coach Bret Bielema has some holes to fill.
Today was a good day for Bielema in terms of getting some of those holes filled. The Hogs received five signed letters-of-intent from junior college commits, all of whom will be enrolling in January. The fact that they will be in for spring drills is huge. This is just more time for them to get to know the school, their teammates, their coaches, the schemes, the practice routines, etc. Consider it an extra seven months of practice time before fall camp starts.
Of those five signees the Hogs signed, Martrell Spaight is probably the most intriguing prospect. The 6’1” 220lb outside linebacker, originally from North Little Rock, Arkansas, was a two-time All-American at Coffeyville Community College. This past year alone he recorded more than 130 tackles in only 9 games.
Spaight never got noticed by the previous staff, even though he let the coaches know of his desire to play for his home state program. Before attending junior college he was very lightly regarded and was set to play for Southern Arkansas University before backing out, opting instead for C.C.C. Seems like a good move now.
Spaight will have a chance to start right away for the Hogs. Arkansas loses four senior linebackers to graduation, and their depth chart is littered with underclassmen. A talented veteran like Spaight should come in and lead right away.
Joining Spaight in Fayetteville this spring will be fellow juco signees Tiquention Coleman (safety), John McClure (offensive tackle), Myke Tavarres (outside linebacker) and Carroll Washington (cornerback).
All in all, a good day for Bielema and company.