Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program. One can be proficient in the “x’s and o’s” portion of the game. But without “the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s,” any program will struggle.

Currently on a bye week, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is scouring the country for talent he can funnel to Fayetteville. Suffice it to say, but he’s racking up the frequent flier miles at a high rate.

As he told WholeHogSports, Bielema is focusing his efforts out of state during this week. It included (and will include) traveling to Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Arizona:

“The one thing that I think comes out during a bye week is as a head coach you can get in front of them. Even though you can’t talk to them, they know you’re there. The presence is a big deal with the SEC and the kid knows that the head coach is taking time.

“I don’t do much in-state because then you get a little bit of an issue, so traditionally the last three years I’ve never been in-state during our bye week. I send my assistants there. We take the plane and go wherever we’ve got to go.”

While many would assume Bielema and his staff would watch SEC action on an off-week — especially in regards to next week’s opponent the Florida Gators — it isn’t the case:

“My Saturday, I’ll be out in west Texas and out in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. Those games are at like . . . I’ve got one at 11, one at 3 and one at 7, so I probably won’t get to watch much SEC football but I’ll get enough of them next week. I took my iPad with me and have been watching Florida quite a bit.”

Above all else, Bielema is trying to be as efficient as possible when it comes to doling out travel assignments for both himself and his staff. The key feel illuminating the process appears to be positivity:

“After Saturday night’s game we went on the road and were greeted with open arms every where we went and people were excited about our program, where we are headed, where we have been, where it is at now and it was reassuring for me as a head coach to see and witness.

“On Monday, we had every coach on our staff at least in a school, multiple schools for several coaches and then we maximized the calendar as best we can. We have done that every year since I have been here and it has been pretty effective.”