LITTLE ROCK — Mood music for a look at Arkansas’ recruiting class is the familiar refrain from the "Cheers" sitcom: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name."

LITTLE ROCK — Mood music for a look at Arkansas’ recruiting class is the familiar refrain from the "Cheers" sitcom: "Where Everybody Knows Your Name."


Even somebody who pays little attention to the identity of an Arkansas signee until the young man takes the field against Alabama, LSU, and the like is familiar with defensive lineman McTelvin Agim and running back Devwah Whaley. More than any other Razorback newcomers, they are expected to make a seamless transition from high school to college and, more than likely, become starters before the Razorbacks play TCU in the second game of the season.


When Agim signed in September, he had the stage to himself. When Whaley signs on Wednesday, he will be one of about 20 whose John Hancock will be celebrated in grandiose style.


That evening, for $25, fans can hear coach Bret Bielema talk about all the young men and show edited highlights of their accomplishments. The next day, Bielema will do an encore in Little Rock.


Around the country, coaches will stage a similarly positive review/preview, all part of the process to convince ticket-buying folks that great things are on the horizon.


Enthusiasm for the newcomers is ingrained in a fan’s belief system, I get that. But, full-blown updates on a young man’s visit to campus, including anticipation and reflection, don’t do much for me. Acknowledging the demand for information on prospective athletes, I appreciate those willing to communicate regularly with teen-agers who can change their mind on a whim.


But, just once, I’d like to read a negative comment from an athlete after a visit to Tuscaloosa, or Baton Rouge, or Fayetteville. Pretty much, the rhetoric is testimony to great facilities, a bond with the coaches, and style of play.


Hard-core followers of recruiting ingest all the words, but a cursory glance is my limit. Reports that Arkansas is showing strong interest in an athlete who has scholarship offers from Tennessee State and North Texas or that some young man chose Arkansas over Lamar and Stephen F. Austin are pretty much ignored.


On the other hand, it is impressive that both Agim and Whaley were offered by Alabama, Stanford, Notre Dame, and many other Top 20 programs and decided to be Razorbacks.


Call me a recruiting snob, but, other than Agim and Whaley, the others in the 2016 class will be forgotten until they threaten to become starters.


There are exceptions to the rule and maybe the emphasis on rejected suitors is overdone, but I immediately think more of the young man who says no to the Crimson Tide than the one who turns down UAB.


Bielema’s staff can "coach ‘em up" and occasionally mold a three-star athlete into an NFL prospect, but Nick Saban’s coaches are equally competent and they have a head start with nothing but four- and five-star athletes.


On that note, Agim’s signing was accompanied by a startling revelation from ESPN regarding Arkansas’ recruiting: "The 6-foot-3, 268-pound Agim became the first five-star ranked prospect to commit to Arkansas in the seven years ESPN has been assigning star rankings to prospects, which covers 97 prospects in those seven years.


"Not only is Agim the first five-star to commit to Arkansas, but he is also the first top-10 ranked prospect overall to pick the Razorbacks in the 11 years ESPN has ranked prospects," the network said.


With Alex Collins leaving for the NFL, Whaley’s primary competition will be sixth-year player Kody Walker and sophomore Rawleigh Williams who is recovering from a neck injury suffered against Auburn.


Prior to the 2015 season, Bielema told the Little Rock Touchdown Club that there was no reason why the 252-pound Walker couldn’t run for 1,000 yards, but Collins did the heavy lifting, Brandon Allen attempted 370 passes, and Walker only carried 90 times. Meanwhile, Williams’ status is a mystery.


That adds up to 15-20 carries per game for Whaley; Agim might earn twice that many snaps. Remember their names.


Harry King is sports columnist for GateHouse Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. Email: hleonk42@gmail.com