When Bielema was hired, there was a question of whether he'd be able to handle SEC recruiting after making now-infamous comments regarding Urban Meyer's tactics upon taking the Ohio State job, which apparently included Meyer breaking an unwritten Big 10 rule by recruiting players already committed to other programs. Bielema's comments have drawn snarky responses from college football fans everywhere.
Don't need to worry about that with Bielema anymore.
The biggest surprise of the day was the signing of linebacker Martell Spaight, who had been committed to Kansas State. Spaight was a JUCO All American at Coffeyville Community College and conference defensive player of the year. Spaight announced his decision at his high school, North Little Rock, which happens to be the home of prized running back recruit Altee Tenpenny, who happens to be committed to Alabama, and who Bielema hasn't shied away from recruiting despite his commitment.
So not only is Bielema beginning to shed any traditional Big 10 recruiting image right off the bat, he's also filling Arkansas' positions of need very quickly.
Joining Spaight on the defensive side of the ball are linebacker Myke Tavarres and defensive backs Carroll Washington and Tiquention Coleman. Coleman, you'll remember, was committed to Wisconsin and flipped to Arkansas after an official visit to Fayetteville recently. Tavarres was considering switching to Boise in recent days and Washington was also waffling until he spoke to Bielema the first time.
As anyone who watched Razorback football at all in 2012 will acknowledge, linebacker and defensive back were both positions in which lack of depth cost the Hogs dearly. Both positions saw significant injuries forcing freshmen into the mix immediately. These signings should help Arkansas fight that battle in 2013.
Also signing is offensive lineman Johnathan McClure from Butler Community College. He was a Junior College All American both seasons at Butler. He will be expected to quickly help Arkansas' shaky offensive line play.