Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Traylor knows his way around recruiting
Jeff Traylor spent the 2017 season at SMU as running backs coach.
Arkansas running backs coach Jeff Traylor has an excellent reputation as a recruiter, and one high school coach in east Texas attributes that to Traylor's background as a high school coach.
New London (Texas) West Rusk Coach John Frazier said he believes Traylor's years in the high school ranks, including 15 seasons as head coach of Gilmer High School from 2000-14, helped make Traylor the recruiter he is today.
"One thing that stands out with Coach Traylor is I think the fact he's spent his whole life dealing with 17- and 18-year-old kids," Frazier said. "He's dealt with the 17- and 18-year-olds' parents and of course he knows high school coaches. I would assume when it comes to recruiting, that's the big majority of it."
Frazier coaches Razorbacks defensive end target Tyree Wilson, who's down to the Hogs and Texas A&M for his college decision.
Traylor started his coaching career in 1990 at Big Sandy High School before heading to Jacksonville, Texas, in 1993. Big Sandy, Jacksonville and Gilmer are all located in eastern Texas, where Traylor is assigned to recruit for the Hogs along with the Arkansas side of Texarkana.
He had a 175-26 record with three state championships and two state runner-up finishes while at Gilmer. Frazier has known Traylor for multiple years and thinks his strong work ethic is also one of his strengths in recruiting.
"Coach Traylor hustles, and I mean hustles, in the sense of work ethic," Frazier said. "Coach Traylor just knows how to win whether that be recruiting a kid or being a great athletic director or just being a good friend. Coach Traylor wins and will figure out a way to win in whatever he does. He's a great competitor."
Frazier believes Traylor’s love for kids is probably his greatest asset in recruiting.
"He cares about kids; that’s probably the biggest thing,” Frazier said. “He really cares about the kid. He’s seen him recruit kids at my school whether they had a chance to be at his school or not, you could tell he had genuine concern, a genuine care for their future."
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