Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Recruits react to the hiring of Bielema
Austin Allen, Fayetteville quarterback, looks downfield for an open receiver Saturday in the third quarter of the game against Bentonville at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock for the Class 7A football state championship.
Here's a sampling of what some Arkansas commitments and other recruits are thinking along with Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network and his take on the expected hiring of Bret Bielema.
DE Tevin Beanum - He did research on the hire and likes it and how Bielema has defensive background. He believes his background will help Arkansas get better on defense.
CB Carroll Washington of Hartnell College know of Bielema's success at Wisconsin and is now wanting to get to know him and find out his plans for him.
LB Myke Tavarres of College of the Siskiyous said he sees that Bielema has done well in the past and gotten Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl. He's' eager to meet with him and found out more and see where he stands.
QB Tyler Cogswell of Planation, Fla. likes the hire and believes the offensive system Bielema has will fit him. Excited to meet and get to know him more.
QB Austin Allen of Fayetteville said Bielema is a great coach and a proven winner by going to several Rose Bowls. While the offense is different from what he was expecting he's encouraged by the success of former Badger QB Russell Wilson. Excited about the hire.
OL John McClure of Butler C.C. said he's excited by the hire and was impressed by what Wisconsin did against Nebraska. He knows of the Badgers' reputation of big offensive linemen.
2015 OL Zach Rogers of Carrollton, Tx. said he's very excited about the hire and likes the running game. He believes Arkansas can get going back in the right direction.
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network said it's big hire to be able to get a top coach from another BCS conference.
Pluses are he recruited the Midwest well and will open up some new areas for Arkansas in that area along with other regions. Bielema was known as a very good recruiter in Florida when he was at Iowa and as an asst. coach at Wisconsin.
Concerns would be the lack of experience in recruiting the South. Lemming believes he should keep some of the currents coaches on staff or at least hire some that have ties to the South.
Lemming believes Bielema' offense will be attractive to North Little Rock RB Altee Tenpenny because of the high profile running backs that have come out of Wisconsin in the past. He also thinks the offense is a good fit for TE Hunter Henry of Pulaski Academy because the TE is utilized in Bielema's offense.
Arkansas newset commitment Drew Morgan of Greenwood said he's all in and very excited about the hiring. He's heard great things about Bielema.
Illinois LB Garret Dooley, a Wisconsin commitment said Bielema is a big reason why he chose to be a Badger. He really thinks highly of him and really wanted to play for him. He said the players at Wisconsin also like him. He said he's firm to the Badgers but wouldn't totally rule out checking out the Hogs.
Florida CB Sojourn Shelton is another Badger pledge that thinks highly of Bielema and regrets that he won't be able to play for him. He said he's set on going to Wisconsin but might consider Arkansas if the staff follows Bielema to Fayetteville.
Shelton had an in-home visit from Wisconsin Asst coach Charlie Partridge tonight and he was told that Barry Alvarez may come out of retirement and coach the Badgers or they may hire within and retain the staff.
He was under the impression the staff was staying put in Wisconsin.