[VIDEO] Bahn: Razorback Coaches Recruiting Like They'll Be Here Beyond 2012

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, May. 8, 2012 4:00 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Paul Petrino doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be at Arkansas beyond the 2012 season. He returned to the Razorbacks as offensive coordinator thinking he’d be here at least four seasons, but nothing is guaranteed.

That’s what a late April coaching change will do for an assistant coach’s job security. Petrino knows he’s all but guaranteed to be here through December, but anything past that is essentially wishful thinking.

Still, Petrino said in a Tuesday interview with ArkansasSports360.com he is recruiting like he’ll be here beyond 2012. He’s been on the road as much as rules allow in the spring evaluation period and continues to evaluate and interact with prospects.

“I don’t think there can ever be a day you come in here and think, ‘Oh, we’re not going to be here next year,’ ” Petrino said. “You have to come into work like you’re going to be here. You prepare, you recruit for the future. You look at what you’ll need coming up and find guys to go after. You do your best.

“That’s the only way to do it.“

Arkansas Coach John L. Smith has made recruiting a priority, even though he’s guaranteed only the next 10 months. Smith has agreed to a contract that makes him coach from April until the Razorbacks find a permanent replacement.

Smith, who will earn $850,000, could be the long-term solution. He might not be here past November. Still, one of the first things he did once hired was join the staff in calling recruits.

Sitting on Smith’s desk during a recent interview were binders with information on recruiting targets. He had a familiarity with players he recruited while a position coach for three seasons at Arkansas, but dove into learning the entire recruiting board shortly after returning last month.

Focusing on future players was something Smith did even before evaluating his current personnel. Smith started his recruiting review with in-state prospects and since has worked his way to the surrounding states.

Arkansas built the foundation of success under former coach Bobby Petrino with his first recruiting class, a group heavy on in-state prospects. Keeping close tabs on players who are interested in the Razorbacks despite the head coach is important, Smith said.

“Those are our biggest concerns right now the first few days of recruiting are the Arkansas kids,” Smith said. “Then we’ll expand from there.”



Please read our comments policy before commenting.