Arkansas Razorback head football coach Chad Morris spoke to a crowd of approximately 250 people Monday evening at the Pine Bluff Country Club for the Pine Bluff Razorback Club meeting.
Several former Razorback players were in attendance, including Greg Horn, Bo Busby and Quinn Grovey. Former Arkansas Razorback color analyst and NFL great Keith Jackson was also in attendance.
Morris spoke on a number of topics, noting that last year’s record is not and will not be the standard for Razorback football.
“It wasn’t even close,” Morris said. “We are rebuilding this program right now. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that we are having to rebuild, but I’m telling you right now we are having to rebuild. We are having to make hard decisions – many of which you saw in the news during the offseason.”
“I’ve been through three rebuilds. We had to rebuild at Tulsa, Clemson and SMU,” Morris continued. “I’ve seen what it takes to rebuild a program, and we are going to do it here. We will stay the course and be consistent. When you look at what Clemson has done, they have been consistent in what they are doing. It all starts with consistency and culture.”
Morris said that changes are already happening, but others have to continue to happen to right the ship.
“We are going to be much better than we were last year. We are much better right now than we were last year. You could see that in the spring game. We are going to get this program where it is supposed to be, but we are not going to compromise to do it. This isn’t going to happen overnight.”
While the Razorbacks went 2-10 overall (0-8 SEC) in 2018, Morris said that there was success happening with the team.
“We started having success by establishing our culture,” Morris said. “We had to establish a culture of things that we could tolerate, and things we couldn’t tolerate. We don’t like the results we are getting, so we have to look at the behavior we are showing when we get results we don’t want. We have to look at the behavior that will get us to where we want to be, then have honest, truthful conversations about what we have to do to get to where we want to be.”
Morris said that he and his staff will have to continue to develop guys that they have on the roster in order to see success.
“We do have some talent, we just have to develop them,” Morris said. “We have several guys who are stepping up and doing great things.”
The Razorbacks finished up spring ball over the weekend with Saturday’s spring game. Morris said that they came out of spring healthy and ready to work this summer.
“We don’t go into spring to try to get ready for fall camp, we go into spring to try to get ready for summer, and then we use the summer to get ready for fall,” he said. “One big thing is that our interior defensive line was very impactful this spring. We were able to build some quality depth there.”
Morris said that having transfer quarterback Ben Hicks on campus paid dividends for the team and the quarterback room.
“Ben Hicks has sat in a room with a team with a 2-10 record before, and he bounced back to set all of the team records at SMU,” Morris said. “He elevated the quarterback room when he came here, and he has helped to make all of our quarterbacks better.”
Morris finished by saying that the key to success this fall is to continue building on the things the team accomplished this spring and to make everything they do count.
“We had a good spring, now we must have a great summer,” Morris said. “Everything we do and every day that we do it counts. Everything counts. We just had one of the best recruiting classes in school history, and that counts. We have to keep working hard and keep recruiting hard. We will get back to where we want to be by making everything count, with hard work, and just getting after it every day.”
Pine Bluff Razorback Club President Steve Hornbeck presented Razorback Foundation Senior Director of Development Quinn Grovey with a donation of $5,000 at the meeting. Hornbeck also recognized former Pine Bluff Razorback Club members and former Razorback’s George Walker and William Mark Maxwell – both of whom passed away in the past year.
The club then sounded off with a Hog Call in memory of both men.