Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting season is closing strong; very strong. Hogs head coach Bret Bielema may not have received the same recruiting buzz as new conference rivals Nick Saban and Hugh Freeze, but Bielema showed some tricks up his sleeve on these final days of the 2013 signing season.
Arkansas’ fortune has come at the expense of Miami. Bielema already scored one coup over the Hurricanes on Monday, when highly touted running back Alex Collins selected the Razorbacks despite originally being a verbal commit to The U. Then early on National Signing Day, Arkansas chalked up another Sunshine State victory with the addition of coveted offensive tackle prospect Denver Kirkland.
Kirkland and Miami had a kerfuffle that may or may not have been a misunderstanding; Hurricane head coach Al Golden and his staff reportedly pulled Kirkland’s scholarship offer due to Kirkland wanting to wait until National Signing Day to officially commit.
Regardless, Kirkland has an opportunity to be a key ingredient in new Razorback offensive coordinator Jim Chaney’s system. Rivals.com graded Kirkland a four star prospect, and No. 13 among offensive tackles around the country.
Another miss for Miami was five star linebacker Matt Thomas, who signed with Hurricane rival Florida State. Thomas is the second huge commitment to the Seminoles in less than 24 hours, after Jimbo Fisher and staff successfully flipped one-time USC verbal pledge Jalen Ramsey.
The addition of former FSU offensive coordinator James Coley to the Miami staff was a potential blockbuster recruiting move for The U. Coley was key in helping craft the Seminoles’ recent, highly touted classes. But these three misses are significant for the 2013 recruiting haul in Coral Gables.
The sky is hardly falling on the Hurricanes, though. Miami landed a mid-morning letter of intent from Stacey Coley, Rivals.com’s No. 13 ranked wide receiver.