For Arkansas Razorback fans this is about as good as it gets.
“Arkansas has the #3 recruiting class in football, #2 in men’s basketball, top three in baseball and #1 in softball.— The Hawg Talk (@TheHawgTalk) April 12, 2022
Fayetteville, Arkansas is the place to be. It ain’t dirt roads and stop signs!”
-@JacobScottDavis, episode 243 of The Hawg Talk
Everyone gets it, Arkansas has always been viewed as the land of dirt roads and one stop sign towns. That’s great, it really is but that is outside perception of yesteryear. This state boasts in natural beauty from one corner to the next and it’s no longer a secret.
Recruits, players and students past and present rave about the University of Arkansas. What it has done for them and how the state has given back to them, too. Coaches don’t want to leave here and that’s been true except that one time Eddie Sutton left for his dream job in Lexington, Kentucky.
Listen to what Josh Pate of Late Kick/247sports had to say about what Arkansas has become.
People with options are choosing Arkansas pic.twitter.com/7nbhBMFRuH— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) April 11, 2022
Everything the Razorbacks are doing in any given sport is seeing an uptick in success.
A football team that’s darkhorse playoff contenders with a current recruiting class ranked third in the country. The Razorbacks are one of only eight programs to return both their coordinators for a third consecutive season.
The ingredients are there for the Razorback football team to compete for its first SEC West Divisional Championship since 2006. Yeah, they’ve been in the running a a handful of times but gosh it’s been a while since then.
The basketball team is trending up as the favorite to win next season’s NCAA Tournament champions. After being the only SEC team to advance to the Elite Eight the past two seasons it’s time to take Eric Musselman’s squad seriously. Three McDonald’s All-Americans and three more top-100 recruits give Arkansas promise for another run in the NCAA Tournament.
When you add in the size of Trevon Brazile, the Mitchell twins and Jalen Graham all transferring in to be post presences. Which is something that the Razorbacks needed against Duke. Now, Musselman recruited the help with the transfer portal.
The old saying of Larry Johnson to Nolan Richardson goes: “You need to get you some men.”
Coach got him some men.
Look at the baseball team is consistently a top ten program in the nation. They always seem to be in the race to host NCAA regionals and super regionals. When you have one of the greatest coaches on all of college baseball there’s reason to think your team has a shot at Omaha. Look at last season for example. they had question marks at pitching, fielding but did show promise in their young players adapting. The Razorbacks exceeded expectations but are higher than ever now.
The Diamond Hogs have been sitting in the top five of the National rankings for much of season. It looks like the road to Omaha will once again go through Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Seven years ago, an unknown coach by the name of Courtney Deifel was hired by Jeff Long as the head softball coach. She took the softball team from ground zero up. Starting with a 17-39 (1-23 SEC) record in year one, she and her staff have elevated the softball team to a point of National relevance in a short amount of time. They are currently humming along while sitting at the top of the toughest conference in the sport.
Porter Hayes, who covers the softball team for The Hawg Talk has repeatedly said that if the pitching can catch up with the offensive firepower that this team would be special this season. Mary Haff, Jenna Bloom and Chenise Delce have the girls rolling from the mound. They sit 28-7 (9-3 SEC) and they don’t plan on slowing down. It’s been nearly two whole seasons since they’ve lost back-to-back games during the regular season, too. If you haven’t been to Bogle Park for a game you should plan a trip. It’s a special place.
“Arkansas isn’t a second option, it’s a destination..” for softball ladies with options.
Let’s not forget Colby Hale and the soccer team. They’ve been on the cusp of an SEC Championship for years now. Once we see them breakthrough, the sky will be the limit for their program.
Theres also a world class track and field program. They’ve won more National and conference championships than any other program. Also, a gymnastics squad that just finished their season with an appearance in the Sweet 16. Is there a deeper athletic department in America?
Arkansas is a special place that is experiencing success that the athletic program has never, ever seen. With Hunter Yurachek at the helm as athletic director, the expectation of continued success will be there. And, Yurachek welcomes it with open arms.