FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas picked up a late addition to its 2014 signing class last month when former UNLV guard Cameron Jefferson announced he was transferring elsewhere to play his senior season.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said at SEC Media Days that Jefferson is a perfect fit for what the Razorbacks are trying to build along their offensive front.
“I love his film,” Bielema said. “He seems to play with an attitude,” Bielema said. “He play borderline nasty, the way I think we’ve got to play.”
Bielema became aware of Jefferson after an Arkansas assistant informed him another SEC school had a UNLV player on campus who planned to transfer. At the time, the Runnin’ Rebels were banned from postseason play because of their Academic Progress Rate penalties. The NCAA also ruled that UNLV players could transfer with eligible immediately.
So Bielema said he contacted offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and told him to “take a peak” at UNLV’s roster in case other players intended to leave the program. Chaney’s assessment led the Razorbacks to Jefferson.
“Jim is great with personnel,” Bielema said. “He went through and said, ‘Bret, the one guy I keep coming back to is Cameron Jefferson.’ I haven’t seen an ounce of clip of film on him. I’m going off an offensive coordinator and guys that know personnel.”
Arkansas eventually got Jefferson — who was a three-year starter at UNLV — on campus for a visit. Bielema said he met every offensive player during his stay and the Razorbacks eventually offered Jefferson a scholarship. He accepted.
The bowl ban eventually was overturned at UNLV, but Jefferson could still transfer to Arkansas after graduating. Bielema said Jefferson is still waiting for approval to join the Razorbacks, but should arrive before camp begins Aug. 4.
Jefferson — whose father, William, played in the NFL for the Browns, Raiders and Colts — will have a chance to earn a starting spot at guard right away. He’s expected to compete for the first-team spot at left guard, which was unsettled after the spring.
“I believe he’s got great potential,” Arkansas guard Brey Cook said. “I have not gotten to see him yet. He’s not yet on campus. But when I hosted him on his trip he was a great kid. He’s got his head on straight and I’m sure he’ll do well for us.”
Comcast signs on
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, will carry the SEC Network when it launches on Aug. 14.
The deal, which was announced Friday, will make the SEC Network available to 46 million households nationwide.
“We’re thrilled to have Comcast on board as a distributor for the launch of the SEC Network on August 14,” said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president for college networks. “Across the country, Comcast’s Xfinity customers will have access to all of the great content and coverage from the SEC Network. We continue to gain momentum for a successful launch across a wide range of affiliated providers.”
In addition to Comcast, the SEC Network will be available through DISH Network, AT&T U-Verse, Cox Communications and Google Fiber. SEC commissioner Mike Slive said this week there were “ongoing conversations with other major providers.”
Bielema said the Razorbacks have a name for its Texas players: Tex Hogs.
He believes Arkansas’ contract with Texas A&M to play in Cowboys Stadium Arlington, Tex., on an annual basis through 2024 will only help the program’s efforts in securing more Tex Hogs on the recruiting trail.
“To go to a kid in the state of Texas and let him know every year you’re going to play in Cowboys Stadium, nobody else in the SEC can say that except for Texas A&M,” Bielema said. “That’s a huge recruiting advantage and one we’ll capitalize on.”
Arkansas has only signed five players from Texas in Bielema’s two recruiting classes. One of them — receiver Melvinson Hartfield — is no longer with the program and another — lineman Jovan Pruitt — won’t qualify this year.
Woo, Pig … trademark
Arkansas has been granted a federal trademark registration for the Hog Call.
The Razorbacks believe they are the first college or university in the nation to receive a federal trademark registration for a sound mark from the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. The registration of the words and the sound mark do not impact the use of the Hog Call for non-commercial activities.
Arkansas said the trademark protects the university from anyone “seeking to exploit the mark commercially” without a license or agreement.
Arkansas submitted its application for trademark registration on July 26, 2013 and it was granted July 1. The Razorbacks indicated in their filing the first Hog Call was Dec. 31, 1929, according to media accounts.