The Recruiting Guy:

Graphic communication helps coaches reach targets

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Sunday, February 11, 2018
A graphic highlights Arkansas' recruiting work prior to the 2018 signing period.
Photo by Razorback Football Twitter
A graphic highlights Arkansas' recruiting work prior to the 2018 signing period.

While the offensive coordinator at Clemson, Chad Morris was exposed to the Tigers' aggressive recruiting tactics on social media. He's brought a similar approach as the coach of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

He and his assistants are one of the more active staffs in the nation on Twitter, and they often use graphics that assistant director of recruiting and graphics Cody Vincent creates to promote the program.

On signing day, the staff direct-messaged numerous junior prospects a graphic showing Morris at a dry-erase whiteboard where it shows #RazorFAST19 at the top and TOP PRIORITY with the name of the recruit in the middle near the bottom.

Several recruits tweeted the graphics out. Receiver Lance Wilhoite was impressed with the Razorbacks' effort.

"I love the picture," Wilhoite said Wednesday. "It really shows that I'm really a top priority for Arkansas. I have been building a strong relationship with the entire coaching staff. I just got off the phone with them today. It really shows that they love me."

Wilhoite, 6-3, 180 pounds, 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Nashville (Tenn.) Franklin Road Academy has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss, LSU and others.

ESPN rates him the No. 5 receiver and No. 39 overall prospect for the 2019 class.

He said he's talking to offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, defensive coordinator John Chavis, receivers coach Justin Stepp and graduate assistant receivers coach Kelvin Bolden.

Ohio State is another school that has several coaches recruiting Wilhoite, but he admits his relationship with the Hogs is getting stronger.

"The more I talk to them, the more I get drawn into the program," he said.

Junior athlete Adonis Otey, 6-1, 180, 4.5 in the 40, of Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman also received a graphic via private message on Twitter. ESPN rates Otey the No. 20 athlete and No. 239 overall prospect in his class.

"Very important for me to know I'm loved by coaches," said Otey, who plans to visit the Hogs on Feb. 24. "The schools that make me a prime target, those are the schools I'm focusing on going forward."

The graphic made receiver T.Q. Jackson feel wanted at Arkansas.

"Makes me feel great, real great," Jackson said. "The fact that they have a lot more important people to focus on, that's what makes it great and makes me feel like they care."

Jackson, 6-3, 183, 4.47 in the 40, of Jefferson, Texas, has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Texas Tech, SMU, Houston and others. He also plans to visit Fayetteville on Feb. 24. He said the graphic is a cool way of reaching recruits.

"Most definitely ... especially with the name tag," he said.

Athlete Raymond Woodie III is another prospect who enjoyed the personalized graphic.

"I feel like this new staff is really doing many unique things to make their program more intriguing and take it to the next level," Woodie said.

Woodie, 6-1,185 of Tallahassee, Fla., received a scholarship offer from the Hogs on Jan. 21 to go along with others from Ole Miss, Florida State, Florida, Southern Cal, California, Louisville, Michigan State and others. His father is the linebackers coach at Florida State.

"They have shown me a lot of love," Woodie said of the Razorbacks. "It really feels like a family atmosphere and I haven't even visited yet."

ESPN rates Woodie the No. 11 athlete and No. 169 overall prospect in the 2019 class. He plans to visit Fayetteville in the future.

"They are on their way to taking the program to the next level really soon," he said.

Email Richard Davenport

Sports on 02/11/2018


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