George McDonald: Wants Top WR

George McDonald

Top recruiter George McDonald has big goals as Arkansas wide receiver coach. McDonald listed his number one goal to Bret Bielema after joining the Arkansas coaching staff.

George McDonald wants to bring the Biletnikoff Award to Arkansas. The new Arkansas wide receivers coach will make that his pitch on the recruiting trail.

Known as one of the nation's top recruiters among assistant coaches, McDonald said on a teleconference Thursday morning -- his first as a UA coach -- that he likes his chances of being successful on the staff being put together by new head coach Bret Bielema.

"I think Coach Bielema has been diverse in his offense and used the tight end and the wide receiver," McDonald said, after questioned about the possible stereotype of Bielema's background with power running.

"I think with the staff we have, with Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator, with a background of throwing in the Big Ten and at Tennessee, we are going to score points."

McDonald has served as wide receivers coach at Miami the last two seasons, then in the same job for three years with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. He was at Minnesota in the Big Ten before that. He played wide receiver at Illinois.



McDonald said one of the key aspects he'll sell on the road is the facilities at Arkansas, including the new operations building. He called them second to none. He said that might be one of the big reasons a South Florida athlete would leave home for Fayetteville. McDonald thinks he'll continue to recruit the area he's come to know so well the past two years while at Miami.

"I think everything is about fit," he said. "If it's the right fit for the athlete, then after seeing the facilities, I think we can go (recruit) anywhere in the country.

"I'm so excited about coming to the SEC. It's known as the best. I'm excited to recruit to it and try to be the best wide receiver coach in the SEC. I told Coach Bielema that I want to bring the Biletnikoff Award to Fayetteville. Every kid we recruit, we are going to tell them that's the goal."

The Biletnikoff Award, named for former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, goes to the top wideout in the country. Cobi Hamilton, who just completed his eligibility at Arkansas, was a finalist for the award this past season.

"Can we get any more eligibility for Cobi," McDonald said. "Seriously, I know we have some returning talent and some good young ones. I know we have Javontee Herndon and MeKale McKay coming back and there are some other good young players, too.

"We were young at Miami this year, so I'm used to that. I look forward to working with them. I talked to Coach Bielema about them. I think they are hungry to be coached hard. We will coach them to play fast, hard, physical and compete. That's what we want to do, compete."

McDonald coached Herndon's brother at Minnesota.

"I do remember him as a little kid in the home when we recruited his brother," McDonald said. "This is the first time I can recall coaching brothers."

Where will he recruit?

"At Miami, I had south Florida, but I've been fortunate to be in other areas around the country in my coaching career, and I think I can go anywhere," he said. "My most natural area is South Florida. I've done this area every stop I've been, but I've also done other areas in the south -- Virginia, North Carolina -- and I've also had the California junior colleges and the midwest.

"In recruiting here, I'd have an area and recruit players at other positions in that area, but when we identified a wide receiver in another area that we all approved, then I'd take over the recruiting of that player.

"I've been diversified in areas so I'm excited to sell the brand of Coach Bielema and the Razorbacks and whether or not it's Florida, Chicago or Canada, I know we have the resources and the product to go to that area.

"Recruiting is about working hard to build trust. It's about relationships. I try to just present information to help them make a career decision. It is not so much about selling a dream. I think you show them an opportunity and help them with their decisions."

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