FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas recorded its most important win under Bret Bielema two weeks ago, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, to beat Texas Tech 49-28.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas recorded its most important win under Bret Bielema two weeks ago, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, to beat Texas Tech 49-28.


It was Arkansas’ first against a power conference opponent under Bielema. It also ended the Hogs’ eight-game road losing streak. But E.K. Franks, Arkansas director of recruiting, said the impact was felt in other ways immediately after the win.


"It was so funny how many people hit us up," Franks said from his office in the Football Center earlier this week. "My phone was blowing up. People were e-mailing. ‘Hey, I got this kid. Hey, I got this kid.’ So everybody is taking notice."


Imagine what might happen Saturday night. Arkansas, which hasn’t secured many prospects from Texas in its two signing classes under Bielema, has a chance to improve to 2-0 in the state — and add another big moment in its Texas recruiting efforts — when the Razorbacks (3-1, 0-1 in SEC) play No. 6 Texas A&M (4-0, 1-0) in Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.


The series is returning to the Metroplex after spending the past two seasons on campus and will remain there until at least 2024. And Arkansas’ staff believes it’s another opportunity to raise the program’s recruiting visibility in the state.


"It definitely would be a great advantage for us," Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith said. "Any time you recruit in that state and you can go in there and say you’ve won a couple games against two quality opponents, it definitely helps in recruiting because kids want to go somewhere they’re going to win football games."


Texas has long been an important recruiting area for the Razorbacks.


Since just 2002 alone, the Razorbacks have secured key prospects like running back Knile Davis, center Travis Swanson, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, cornerback Chris Houston and offensive linemen Tony Ugoh from the state. Just to name a few.


There are a few key players on Arkansas’ current roster, too. Running back Jonathan Williams, defensive end Deatrich Wise, defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson and cornerback Tevin Mitchel are all from Texas. Arkansas cornerback D.J. Dean said Saturday’s homecoming is another big moment for each of them.


"All the Texas kids, that’s really big," said Dean, who is one of 11 Razorbacks on scholarship from Texas. "We’re always telling everybody, ‘We’re from Texas, and Texas football is better than any other state.’ So it’s always good to go back home."


But the volume of Texas high school players migrating to Arkansas has taken a dip the past few years, according to a Rivals.com database that dates back to 2002.


Arkansas has signed five Texas players in Bielema’s two classes. Only three of them — Dean, running back Denzell Evans and kicker Cole Hedlund — are still on campus. Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino averaged five Texas signees from 2008-11, while Houston Nutt averaged 7.2 signees from 2002-07.


There are plenty of reasons for the decline. Texas A&M’s move to the SEC may be one of the biggest, giving Texas kids a chance to stay at in-state and play in the conference. The improvement of other Texas programs like Baylor and TCU has given prospects better chances to stay close to home as well.


But Arkansas also has dealt with the fallout from its own struggles, too, which began with Petrino’s scandalous departure and has included two straight losing seasons. Bielema said he’s also to familiarize himself more with the recruiting landscape in the state after spending most of his career recruiting other areas.


"I think when I first got here, I’m like, "OK, we’re close to Texas. Let’s go recruit Texas,’" Bielema said. "Well, it’s not as easy as that. You’ve got to have ties. You’ve got to have connections. You’ve got to have research."


Arkansas has devoted more resources to Texas in the past several months. It started with some key hires, like adding Jennings and Franks. Both have deep Texas ties.


Bielema believes hiring Jennings — a Texan who played at North Texas and coached at Sam Houston State, Houston, Baylor and Texas Christian — helped him gain "street credit." Franks, meanwhile, has helped make Texas a recruiting priority.


"First thing I did before I even came here was research and looked at the past," Franks said. "The two things you notice is when they were winning the West they had Arkansas players and Texas players. That was the majority of the roster when they were winning. So when you step back and say, OK, that formula’s not hard."


Franks asked Bielema how many coaches Arkansas he could put in the Metroplex and Houston. He said six coaches are spending at least some time there, including Jennings, Smith and running backs coach Joel Thomas. Bielema said four are there full-time because Arkansas needs to "get stronger" with its Texas recruiting.


"During the bye week, I’m going to be in there quite a bit," Bielema said. "So it’s something we’ll continue to stress. I think my awareness and maybe my efficiency as a staff and as a program is a lot more efficient now than it was."


The added emphasis hasn’t created a windfall of Texas commitments just yet. Hebron High offensive lineman Zach Rogers and Dallas Bishop Lynch tailback Rawleigh Williams are the only verbal commitments for 2015 for now.


But Franks is confident many more are coming under Bielema.


"I feel this year’s class will be interesting," Franks said. "I feel next year’s class will be even bigger. But you can only get a balance of both states. And the thing about it, it just depends on what you have in Arkansas. No. 1 you’re at home. Take care of home, then that dictates what you need to get out of state."


Of course, Arkansas believes it can make a splash with another big performance.


"I think any time you can get a win it’s great for recruiting," Jennings said. "But also, going there and getting another win in the state of Texas, that’s huge for us."