New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said he wanted to make a splash in the southeast when it came to recruiting. Well, in the last couple of days he's done more splashing around than a lot of people expected.
First, Bielema grabbed a crucial commitment from ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) late Monday night. On national signing day, Bielema got some help for Collins when ESPN 150 offensive tackle Denver Kirkland (Miami/Booker T. Washington) picked the Razorbacks over Florida State.
With the way Bielema and his coaches like to mix things up along the offensive line, Kirkland has a chance to make an immediate impact on a line that struggled with consistency in 2012. At 6-foot-4, 333 pounds, Kirkland ranks 12th at his position and 144th nationally.
Outside of getting two solid offensive weapons for the 2013 season, Bielema went into south Florida to pluck some top-tier players away from the home state schools. Getting into the heart of the southeast was a major priority for Bielema, and to get those two big prospects is key to fueling this staff's southeastern momentum.
Getting the ball rolling with these prospects will go a long way, as Bielema & Co. look to make major inroads in that recruiting hotbed.