Prior to cannonballing into full-blown Bert mode and cramming both of his feet firmly in his mouth, Bret Bielema made an addition to his coaching staff that he hopes ends up paying dividends on the Texas recruiting trail.
Clay Jennings, the school announced Thursday, has been hired by Bielema and will serve as the Razorbacks’ defensive backs coach. Jennings, the third new assistant Bielema has added this offseason, was hired after Taver Johnson left for the same position at Purdue.
Jennings has spent the past six seasons as an assistant at TCU. All told, Jennings has spent 11 of the past 13 seasons coaching in the state of Texas — Baylor (2007), Houston (2005-06) and Sam Houston State (2001-02) — a fact that Bielema believes will be of benefit to the UA program.
“I’m thrilled to add Clay Jennings to our staff as his experience blends well with our defensive coaches’ philosophy and terminology.” Bielema said in a statement. “He was an instrumental part of a defensive unit at TCU known for giving an opposing offense a variety of looks while keeping schemes simple for their own players. In addition, his knowledge of the recruiting landscape in Texas will be a great benefit to our program.”
Of the 46 members of Bielema’s first two recruiting classes at Arkansas, just five were from the talent-rich state of Texas. In the two years prior to Bielema’s arrival, the Razorbacks pulled in 10 signees from that state.