Spring break has brought amongst us a very light news week. So let’s look at a few reason why Arkansas will be in good hands with Chad Morris.
Arkansas is still searching for their first conference win under second year head coach, Chad Morris. There is no question that Arkansas struggled to a 2-10 season. It got off to a rocky start but seemed to improve mid-season with closer than expected losses Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and LSU. Okay, the season ended with a big thump with the Mississippi State and Missouri games BUT I saw hope.
Why?! I saw hope because the coach will not let that happen. Okay, it happened against Missouri, too but I remember after those games it left a sour taste in the mouth of the head hog! After that game he said, “Im disappointed and disgusted by the lack of effort during this game to day. It is was an unacceptable effort by the players, coaches and all who are involved in this program. This program will not be built like this.”
After four months and looking back to that press conference, seeing how recruiting shaped up and how additions and subtractions in all the position rooms that brings me hope in the Morris era. This all brings me to give you three reasons Arkansas is in good hands under Morris:
1. Morris is relentless in all he does.
-More than anything else over the nine years I have followed the college coaching career of Morris, it has shown me that he is relentless. A relentless recruiter, coach and husband. He gives 100% to his job and 100% to his family. That shows the character that he has and the vision he has for his future at the University of Arkansas. If you are going to be a head coach in the best football conference in the NCAA you better be relentless because that is what it takes to win. Similar to Saban, Morris will micromanage his program to the point of what he wants it. Just look at the number of players transfer in the time he has been the head coach. Morris molding the roster into what he wants it to be and demands excellence and execution in all aspects of the program. He will not settle and that is what brings me to the next point….
2. Morris has the drive to be successful.
-Sometimes when coaches feel like they have made it at a certain point in there careers they begin to settle and not have the drive they once had. Morris is coaching in the hardest division in college football and he certainly has not phoned in his college coaching career since he has made it to the SEC West. Some guys will phone it in on game day, in recruiting or managing their staff. Arkansas fans saw that during the Bielema days. Morris has the drive to be successful and he wants to be the best. I will go on a limb and say that Morris will have a high rate of success at Arkansas and this will not be his last college coaching stop because of that.
3. Because of Morris’ recruiting, Arkansas will have a great foundation.
-Just look back to the last three coaching changes. Houston Nutt left Bobby Petrino a bear cupboard. Petrino left John L. Smith a few talented seniors but the 8th ranked Razorbacks were a flop in 2012. Then, Bielema had a few quality freshman on the team but 2013 was horrific. Bielema left the Razorbacks football program in worse shape than any of the coaches who were before him. There was some speed in Fayetteville in 2018 but the lack of team speed showed up once SEC play started. The quality 2015 recruiting class has been a failure thus far besides a few star players but the premier quarterback in that class did not pan out and transferred to Western Kentucky this offseason. The roster will be 55:45 Chad Morris Hogs to Bret Bielema Hogs. The transition could be much smoother with guys that Morris has brought in and the holdovers from Bielema’s Hogs that are buying into the Morris Way.
In a typical recruiting cycle, this record breaking class would be close to top-15 which would have been the highest ranked class in program history. I believe Morris and company is not done bringing program changers to Fayetteville either.
Finally, I am very optimistic in Chad Morris being successful at Arkansas. He has all the qualities to be a great SEC coach. Will Arkansas improve enough to go bowling in 2019? The schedule helps but will the players develop enough to get there? I say yes!