Arkansas staff looking for a competitive edge during recruiting dead period

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday December 23, 2013

We are now in a new recruiting dead period, which lasts until mid-January, but the Arkansas staff is still trying to find a recruiting edge. The Razorbacks aren't playing in a bowl game, and one would think that provides some down time. 

Bret Bielema called the new rules the “single-biggest effect on recruiting I’ve ever witnessed.” There is no in-person recruiting allowed during the month-long dead period, which started on Dec. 16.

In an interview on the team’s official site, running backs coach Joel Thomas explained how it’s no excuse to stop working hard in recruiting.

“It’s one of those periods where we’ve still got to find a competitive edge, find a way to keep on bettering the program,” he said. “You can go back and sleep and not do a whole bunch and rest and you’re going to fall behind.

“Somebody’s going to try to outwork you. That’s where we as a program need to get better and find that edge and help put wins on the board next season.”

The Razorbacks went 3-9 in 2013, losing their final nine games and posting a winless conference record for the first time in school history. A year ago, Auburn posted the same overall and conference record. Now the Tigers are playing in the BCS Championship Game. That provides some extra motivation for Arkansas that things can turn around quickly.

“I think so,” Thomas said. “From a competitive standpoint in games this year, we knew where we stood. A few balls go different ways, who knows the outcome? It’s one of those deals where it leaves that taste in your mouth you’re not so happy with.

“You want to correct it and get to that point next season. Watching some of the teams out there is going to fuel that fire more this offseason.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to