After the sudden departure of Arkansas DBs coach Lorenzo Ward to South Carolina earlier this week, many in Razorback nation were a little concerned with how the loss might impact recruits - especially top CB recruits Darius Winston and David Gordon. Gordon quickly restated his commitment to Arkansas and Winston remained quiet leaving other doors open.
However, it is reported that Darius reaffirmed his commitment today after learning of a hire that Petrino made this afternoon. While not completely official, it appears that Petrino will hire John L. Smith to fill the void left by Ward. This is a huge hire considering that Coach Smith has been the head coach for several NCAA teams including Michigan State and Louisville. Coach Petrino was Smith's protege at Louisville, and now they will now be reunited. Smith will likely help on defense, and he brings a great depth of football knowledge and is known to be a great recruiter.
Adding Smith to the Defense makes that side of the ball even tougher when you pair him up with former NFL coach Willy Robinson, who is the head of the Razorback defensive unit. It remains unclear what each coach will be responsible for, but it is clear that their resumes are loaded and they know the ins and outs of college football and what it takes to play in the League. This experience should help on the recruiting trail, in practice, and on game days.
The press conference will take place in the early afternoon on Friday.