Cleaning out the notepad with some University of Central Arkansas football recruiting nuggets:

The staff

New UCA head coach Nathan Brown began his signing day presentation by introducing his staff, which has a mix of experience at other stops with two (associate head coach Brooks Hollingsworth and offensive coordinator Ken Collums having served as head coaches).

"All of them are good X's and O's men," Brown said, "but more importantly, they want to develop young men to make sure they are good husbands and fathers after they leave this place."

He also scored brownie points by recognizing the coaches' wives (several who are helping raise young children), who he classified as unsung heroes. He said, "We get a lot of the credit but we are sometimes gone five days a week and there are young kids at home. It's just awesome what the wives do. They deserve as big a hand as anybody."

Back again

Former UCA lineman Brooks Hollingsworth, a member of the school's Sports Hall of Fame, is beginning his fourth stint on the UCA coaching staff. He has served as an assistant coach for Conway High for the past four years.

"He was one of the first calls I made when I got this job," said Brown, who played when Hollingsworth was on one of his previous stops.

Hollingsworth, who previously served as recruiting coordinator, learned a couple of things from the high school ranks.

"I learned how challenging it can be when you can't recruit," he said. "It hit home that you have to play with what you've got. Also, I didn't realize how hard high school coaches work — with coaching plus teaching and all the duties they do around the school."

The competition

UCA gained the signatures of  several players who had offers from rival Southland Conference schools, other FCS schools and mid-major FBS schools — such as Southern Miss, Appalachian State, Harvard, Holy Cross, Marshall, South Dakota State and Youngstown State.

Many play multiple sports.

Four of the new signees had offers from Army, Navy, Air Force or all three.

It's an indication of discipline and academic achievement as well as athletic success.

"When an athlete gets an offer from Army, Navy or Air Force, you know the quality and you then have to find out of he's an academy-type player," Brown said. "For some, it's just not for them."


"People ask if we're gonna take a break," Brown said. "It doesn't stop. Recruiting in 2018 doesn't stop. It's 24-7, 365 days a year. and it's not just about the 2019 class, but we've got possible transfers and kids we can sign late. So it's a fluid situation."

The recruiting coordinator

Brown's recruiting coordinator is Gunnar Boykin, who was an assistant offensive line coach on the previous staff while assisting with some recruiting elements.

The coordinator has to fit and organize names on the board as will as dealing with traveling logistics and all kinds of details for campus visits.

"We have great facilities and Conway sells itself," he said. "But what is great about this place is nobody we ask on faculty or staff has not been willing to help. President (Houston) Davis and (athletic director) Brad Teague, either or both, were available to visit recruits on camous visits. And when athletes and parents wanted to meet with faculty or the head of the department they intended to major, these faculty members took out part of their Saturdays to meet with them and show them around.

"Many of the families particularly liked the new science building and planetarium."

What are the common questions?

"They want to know about academics and making sure their son graduates," Boykin said. "They ask how safe is the campus and the community and they want to know where their son is going to sleep and make sure the living accommodations are good."

Sports editor David McCollum can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @dmaclcd.