SMU's Chad Morris is leading candidate at Arkansas, sources say

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Arkansas Razorbacks are expected to hire SMU coach Chad Morris, 49, as the UA's head football coach, University of Arkansas sources confirmed Tuesday.

Morris inherited a major rebuild at SMU, which went 1-11 the year before he arrived.

Morris served as Clemson's offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2014, working with Venables from 2012 to 2014.

Morris is winding down his third season at SMU, and the Mustangs are 7-5 heading into the DXL Frisco Bowl against Louisiana Tech on December 20. He went 2-10 in his first season with a program that had won just one in the previous season and improved to 5-7 in 2016.

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Sources tell CBS Sports that influential people in the college football world and within the SEC who consulted with Arkansas - a program that didn't have an athletic director until Hunter Yurachek was hired on Monday - nearly universally recommended Morris for the job due to his integrity, Texas ties and ability to consistently produce top-tier offenses. So Morris will be bringing his system to the SEC, in an effort to revive the Razorbacks' program after a mostly disappointing five-year run (29-34 record) under Bielema.

Morris oversees an explosive Mustangs offense averaging 40.2 points ad 493.8 yards per game. According to his profile on the SMU athletics department website, Clemson broke 127 school offensive records during his tenure and posted a 41-11 record in four seasons.

With Auburn and Memphis locking up Gus Malzahn and Mike Norvell, respectively, Arkansas has turned its attention to Morris. He guided Lake Travis High School to back-to-back state championships in his final two seasons there in 2008-09.

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