National Signing Day is always a funny time for Arkansas fans. We want *so badly* to be mentioned with the big boys of the SEC and their gaudy recruiting rankings, but the demographic and historic realities make that very unlikely. No offense to the high school players of the Natural State, but the talent there is simply not at the level of places like Georgia, Florida, Louisiana or Alabama and that makes it very hard to pull in the parade of All-Universe players that our celebrated rivals seem to get so easily.
The result is a classic Arkansas see-saw of "we're just a small state and should be happy with what we get" justification and "OMG OMG why didn't we sign more 5-stars" hand-wringing. It's a funny thing.
The good news is that when you look at the track record of Bobby Petrino (and staff) of both finding hidden gems and coaching up mid-level players into stars, it's hard not to feel positive about this year's class. The team now has its QB of the future in Brandon Allen, solidified its offensive line with some highly-touted homegrown behemoths and added potential playmakers on both sides of the ball. But, the bad news is that while the Hogs pulled in a strong class, our rivals pulled in their usual ridiculously strong classes. And so it goes...
Of course, the bottom line is that recruiting rankings do matter, but it's important not to get too swept up in all the hoopla. Petrino clearly knows what he's doing, has done quite well with the players he's brought in so far, and shows all the signs of continuing to do quite well with the new guys. The program is in the best shape it's been for a long, long while. Yes, the competition remains as insanely tough as always, but the Razorbacks are right in the thick of it. As for me, I'll take a deep breath to let is all sink in and then will resume counting down to kickoff against Missouri State on September 3rd.