Bret Bielema's first season as the head coach at Arkansas was less than successful as the Razorbacks went winless in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in school history (first winless conference season since 1942 in the Southwest), 3-9 overall and ended the year on a nine-game losing streak.
On the recruiting front this cycle, Arkansas lost out on local four-star defensive tackle Josh Frazier, who committed to Alabama and while the Razorbacks 2014 class is solid, it currently ranks No. 12 in the SEC. This class should end up well as the staff proved last cycle that in a short time it can close, landing running back Alex Collins and others, but you have to look a little further into the future to see the future in Fayetteville's real promise.
Arkansas has already received verbal commitments from five Class of 2015 prospects, all rated four-stars or higher according to 247Sports Composite rankings. It's one of the best starts in the country for the next cycle.
In the SEC, recruiting success is largely determined by the ability to keep the best talent in your state at home and the Razorbacks already have three of the top four in Arkansas for '15 committed to go along with two excellent line lands from other states. It's also determined by the ability to attract and develop high-ceiling linemen on both sides of the ball. Four of the five early commits are linemen.
Here's an early breakdown of the class. player-by-player.
Hjalte Froholdt, DT, Warren (Ohio) Harding: This was one of the biggest surprises in recruiting as Froholdt, an exchange student from Denmark who went home for his junior year (will return next season), committed to the Razorbacks over Michigan and others. The 6-foot-4, 282-pound Froholdt is one of the nastiest prospects at his position on film in the entire 2015 class and could play early. As is the case with many early commits, especially out-of-region (or in this situation, out-of-country), it's going to be paramount for Arkansas to continue to recruit him hard to keep him pledged for the next 14 months or so. Froholdt is ranked as the No. 10 prospect at his position in the 2015 class.
Ty Storey, QB, Charleston (Ark.): The 6-foot-3, 216-pound Storey has a big arm and is an excellent fit in the Razorbacks' pro-style offense. He committed early, as many signal callers do, on June 16, and could be the quarterback of the future given his skill set and ability. Story is the No. 4 pro-style quarterback prospect in the 2015 class.
Jamario Bell, DE, Junction City (Ark.): The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Bell is a freaky athlete for his size and has his best days of football ahead of him. He's the type of prospect that a decade ago would have gone under-the-radar during the recruiting process, then showed up on television playing for the Razorbacks after a redshirt year playing dominant football on the defensive line. Bell is the No. 8 strongside defensive end in the 2015 class.
Zach Rogers, OG, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron: Rogers was an excellent evaluation and get for Razorbacks offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who is one of the best in the country at recruiting and building the offensive trenches. The 6-foot-2, 297-pound Rogers could play guard or even center in college and is all kinds of hard-nosed on film. Rogers is the No. 14 guard prospect in the 2015 class.
Colton Jackson, OT, Conway (Ark.): Similar to Bell, the 6-foot-6, 291-pound Jackson is a great in-state find whose best days of football are ahead of him. He has the type of raw ability that Pittman and company can develop into a multi-year starter and NFL Draft pick. Jackson is the No. 34 offensive tackle prospect in the 2015 class.