On December 2, Richard Davenport of the Arkansas recruiting site ARPreps.com reported on the recruitment of junior college prospect Aaron Douglas by the University of Arkansas football program.
In attempting to persuade Douglas to transfer to Arkansas, head coach Bobby Petrino oversaw the purchase of billboard space along a desolate stretch of Interstate 8 just north of the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona. (1,400 miles from Fayetteville.)
Not coincidentally, Douglas was attending Arizona Western junior college in Yuma at the time. From Davenport’s post:
Arizona Western College offensive tackle Aaron Douglas received a huge surprise when his O-line coach asked Douglas to take a ride with him last night.
Once they drove down the interstate, Douglas saw a billboard that read Arkansas Razorback Football. Needless to say, he was very impressed.
Two weeks later, Douglas signed with Alabama.
Today ArkansasSports360.com’s Chris Bahn posted the first (albeit blurry) photo of the Arizona billboard, with an accompanying story about how Petrino is now willing to go to the ends of the earth for talent. (Three of Arky’s signees this year are from Arizona, but all hail from the Phoenix area, 200 miles away from Yuma.)
Though Douglas didn’t sign with the Hogs, the $1,704 investment for the highway ad did pay off in the end - thanks to Bahn publicizing the somewhat unorthodox recruiting tactic. At least if the overwhelmingly positive online reaction from Razorback fans is any indication.
Follow Brooks on Twitter for real-time updates.