Arkansas is “close” to hiring a defensive coordinator

Update: 3:06 p.m Sources confirmed to HawgSports’ Trey Biddy that Bruce Feldman’s report is accurate on Tulane’s defensive coordinator. Chris Hampton She emerged as a strong candidate to see Arkansas search for a defensive coordinator.

Hampton has emerged as a prime suspect, replacing Barry Odom as defensive coordinator for the Arkansas Razorbacks. HawgSports sources confirmed an earlier report from Bruce Feldman that Hampton is indeed a solid name to watch in this position. He’s getting close to naming him a new defensive coordinator, but he’s also been trying to get the timing right, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said Friday. Last season, Hampton-Tulane’s defense finished second in the AAC in scoring defense (by 0.2 points per game) at 20.5 ppi, which was 25th nationally. Both of those marks were dramatic improvements during his first season as DC in 2021. The Green Wave ranks third in yards per game allowed at 342.4 yards per game. He is 33 nationally. Hampton spent the 2016-19 season coaching defensive backs at Tulane before leaving to coach the running backs at Duke in 2020.

Arkansas football is 10 days into a crucial coaching search to fill the next vacant defensive coordinator position Barry OdomHis departure to take over the program at UNLV, and coach the Razorbacks Sam Bateman He told media on Friday that he was close to conducting a hiring process.

Pittman is unsure when to make an announcement and admitted that he is going through a balancing process of doing what is best for his program while showing respect for other schools as the early signing period is scheduled to open on Wednesday, December 21.

“Defensive coordinator hiring, we’re that close. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do in terms of announcing it. I think I’m weighing our program and the prospects of hurting our recruiting versus hurting some other college hiring, it’s so close to signing day.”

“So, I’m getting closer to it. I don’t know when I feel comfortable making a decision as much as I’m going to announce it. Again, I’m thinking about a lot of things for our university and our players first and foremost, and others as well. I think that’s where we are now.”

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There is no underestimating the significance of this appointment for Pittman, who retained his first coordinators for each of his first three seasons in Fayetteville. Not only is this his first coordinated changeover since taking over from Arkansas, but it comes on the heels of a 6-6 regular season that fell short of expectations, in part due to a defense that ranked 90th nationally in scoring defense (28.8). ppg) and No. 123 in total defense (453.3 ypg).

Pittman paused to say whether or not he placed a premium on building a veteran, employing experience in a mold similar to Odom’s, or whether he was more flexible in his search, but when asked what were the most important traits he looked for during the defensive coordinator’s search, He was quick to bring up the importance of recruiting, which will be crucial to jump with the transfer gate season in high heat as well as in the long run as the Razorbacks continue to lay the foundation through the high school ranks.

From a planning standpoint, Bateman wants to see his defense more numerous, better equipped to deploy a four-man front, and more aggressive.

Bateman said, “When you answer questions like that, sometimes it’s taken as if you’re knocking on the past. You’re not. I was so happy.” “We need someone who can recruit. That’s a big part. I’ll never forget when I went to Georgia, [Kirby Smart] He said, ‘You have to change your room. You have to.’ Especially with the gate going now, you have to have someone who can hire. I’d like to have a multi person. I’d like to get into a four-man front more. I think our strength goes into that now a little bit more than we did in the past.

“I want a good guy. A guy who gets along with his staff and respects the players. I’m looking for some aggressiveness from that coordinator. I think I said recruitment and training, those two things are important. Then what kind of person is he. Will he be able to get players and will he be able to keep You wouldn’t be able to keep them all. I get it. I don’t think any school keeps everything from them. But that’s what I’m looking for and I think I’ve found it in two or three guys.”

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