HOGS aim to be up front with fans
FAYETTEVILLE — Tight ends are expected to play a bigger role in new offensive coordinator Dan Enos' system, which will be on display for full viewing in Saturday's Spring game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Fans are invited to attend the scrimmage, which begins at 12 p.m. The game will be available for viewing via streaming on ESPN plus and SEC Network plus.
It might take a while to sort out the tight ends after last year's starter Trey Knox (26-296 receiving, 5 TDs) transferred to South Carolina.
Redshirt senior Nathan Bax (6-4, 252; 3-16 receiving); and redshirt freshman Ty Washington (6-4, 244; 1-17 receiving) are leading the way, along with true freshman Luke Hasz (6-3, 226; Bixby, Okla.)
“I’m pretty sure we’re the youngest group on the field right now but I think that age doesn’t matter,” Washington said Thursday. “If you can ball, you can ball. I just want to show everyone that the tight end room is stronger than ever.”
The offensive line is also rebuilding after losing three of their five starters with both Dalton Wagner and Ricky Stromberg declaring for the NFL Draft and Luke Jones deciding to move on from football.
Returning starter Beaux Limmer said he wants to show the fans that the team has filled the gaps that were left behind.
“The biggest thing is to prove to the fans that we’re not going to skip a beat and we’ll be just as good if not better than we were last year,” Limmer said.
JEFFCOAT ENJOYING FAYETTEVILLE
Missouri transfer Trajan Jeffcoat that the family atmosphere he felt within the Arkansas football program is what helped him decide to choose the Hogs over other schools.
“They cared about me as a person rather than as a player and I always wanted that,” Jeffcoat said. “I felt very comfortable with the environment here, and that was very different from all my other calls with other schools. They actually cared about my well being and I really enjoyed hearing that from them.”
Jeffcoat said he is not comfortable on the football team, but he has found the city of Fayetteville, and restaurants like Chick'N Headz, to his liking.
“The city of Fayetteville is pretty cool,” Jeffcoat. “It’s way better than Columbia. I really enjoy being here because everyone here is loving and very respectful as well.”
Jeffcoat (6-4, 280, Columbia, S.C.) played four seasons at Missouri, totaling 84 tackles and 11.5 sacks during his career as a Tiger. Jeffcoat had 21 tackles and a sack last season.
On the field, Pittman has been pleased with Jeffcoat.
"He's hard to block," Pittman said.
CLARK EAGER TO PLAY SAFETY POSITION
Hudson Clark started last season at cornerback but made the move to safety after a series of injuries at the position, and that's where he has been this spring.
“It’s fun to be able to focus in on one position and kind of learn and see the defense from that point of view,” Clark said of playing at safety.
Clark (6-2, 178; Dallas, Texas) accounted for 67 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception while leading the team with 11 pass deflections.
Clark said playing safety gives him a chance to utilize his ball-hawking skills.
“You get to be around the ball a little bit more, so that’s fun,” Clark said. “You also get to read the quarterback a little bit more. I think it’s really been beneficial for me.”
LIMMER ADJUSTING TO CENTER
Pittman and offensive line coach Cody Kennedy have used spring practice to mix and match their talent in an effort to identify the top candidates to fill three vacant spots.
One of the experiments involved Limmer, who will be transitioning from the starting right guard to the starting center.
“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent comfortable there yet, but this spring has been great,” Limmer said. “I’ve been getting the idea of what to do on everything with all the new calls and everything with this new offense.”
Limmer (6-5, 306, Tyler, Texas) started at right guard for all 12 games during the regular season but moved to center for the Liberty Bowl when starter Ricky Stromberg opted out. Limmer said he looks back at that game as the start of him building confidence in playing the center position.
“I thought I played pretty well in the Liberty Bowl game, but it’s definitely a lot different,” Limmer said. “Kansas played in 4-down, so now I’m having to learn odd, even, and all of these other different types of fronts. It’s been a lot more difficult than in the Kansas game, but I’m definitely getting a lot more comfortable with it.”
HOGS LAND MARYLAND TRANSFER
Arkansas is one step closer to accomplishing Pittman's goal of improving interior line depth after former Maryland defensive tackle Anthony “Tank” Booker announced his commitment to the Hogs on Wednesday.
Booker (6-4, 320; Cincinnati, Ohio) was a key piece in the defensive line rotation for the Terrapins last season, producing 27 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a pass deflection. Booker, who announced his intentions to transfer March 6, narrowed his list of possible landing spots to Purdue, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Texas A&M before eventually choosing the Hogs.
Booker becomes the 12 transfer to sign with the Razorbacks since the end of the 2022 season.