FAYETTEVILLE — When Sam Pittman was hired at Arkansas two of the young assistants he brought onto the staff were Sam Carter and Jimmy Smith.
The University of Arkansas paid Smith and Carter $225,000 each. Most fans were pleased with the hires, but some wished for more experienced assistants. Turns out Pittman was ahead of the game hiring Smith and Carter. Not only are they outstanding coaches, but top-notch recruiters as well.
Smith will now earn $300,000 while Carter gets $350,000 with the contracts extended through February, 2023. Carter had high praise for PIttman on Sunday.
“Coach Pittman is probably the best head coach in the country,” Carter said. “Just the way, you guys are at practice, the way he talks to our guys. It’s true love. A lot of coaches just speak about it, but Coach Pittman shows it each and every day. I think he’s the best leader that I’ve been around, besides Coach (Barry) Odom. Those two together, it’s unbelievable.”
Carter came to Arkansas from Missouri with Odom. He has already landed some outstanding recruits in the Class of 2022. Belleville (Mich.) four-star safety Myles Rowser is committed to Arkansas and had a lot of praise for Carter when he committed and then on his official visit the June 4-6 weekend.
“Coach Carter is a cool dude,” Carter said. “He’s funny. He’s always energetic, and he’s never down.
“Arkansas’ coaches recruited me as a person not just a player. They didn’t just speak on what I’m great at but what I need to be better. My best fit is the SEC and once I narrowed it down I knew the school where I needed to be.”
Carter also has landed Brownsville (Tenn.) Haywood cornerback Jaylen Lewis for the Class of 2022. Lewis released a Top 10 and Arkansas wasn’t even on the list. Then Carter started recruiting him.
“That man right there, Coach Sam Carter,” Lewis said. “That’s what made me come here. If he ain’t changing me, I know if I come here, he ain’t changing me then. That man right there, that’s what made me come here.”
Smith also had praise for Pittman this week when asked what brought him to Arkansas?
“Sam Pittman,” Smith said. “It’s simple. Great guy. When I first met him, I could tell he was a great guy. It’s very important to me to be able to go out and recruit kids and be able to say the head coach is going to take care of you and he cares about the kids coming in and not have to weave my way around it. I can be honest in saying that. It’s very important to me.”
Smith has commitments for the Class of 2022 from both Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove four-star running back Rashod Dubinion and Little Rock Parkview’s James Jointer. Smith was formerly the head coach at Cedar Grove and won a pair of state titles there.
“We are real close,” Dubinion said. “I’ve known him since my eighth grade year.”
When Smith’s name was mentioned to Jointer the recruit’s eyes lit up on the day he verbally pledged to the Hogs.
“That’s my guy,” Jointer said. “He calls me everyday. He might call me while I’m eating breakfast, eating lunch or eating dinner. Or sometimes he might call me before practice or after practice, but I’m gonna hear from him two to three times a day. He recruited my family as well. Checking in with my brother, my mom and asking about how my grandmother was doing. They all stuck out to me about Coach Smith. We have a really good relationship.”
Smith was also instrumental in helping get Tulsa (Okla.) Union four-star running back AJ Green to Arkansas in the Class of 2021.