Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Complex under construction big for recruiting
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema (left) talks with Dennis Welch on Thursday during the Signing Day in the Rock event at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Arkansas would not have been as successful on signing day if not for the new football complex expected to open this summer, said Coach Bret Bielema.
The Broyles Complex was state-of-the-art when it opened in 1974 but is outdated by today's standards.
"We're moving into it in June and July," said Bielema of the new complex. "A 35 million dollar facility that will be second to none. That makes you very excited. I think if we didn't have that going for us we would not be where are today with this signing class. I guarantee it."
Bielema praised athletic director Jeff Long, senior associate athletic director Matt Trantham and staff for their help in showing recruits what the new complex will look like.
"We were able to have able to have a print in each room," Bielema said. "We walk in, here's the tight end room, here's the quarterback room, here's the players lounge, here's the training facility. It really made a huge impact in our recruiting efforts and it's something I think that's going continue to build from this point forward. "
A new academic facility is next.
"We have an unbelievable academic staff in place," Bielema said. "We just need a to give them a little better facility to get done what they need to get done. That's on the horizon. That's our next big project."