Arkansas football: What is happening?

Arkansas football was riding high off of their 9-4 (4-4) season last year in Sam Pittman’s second season as head coach. Here’s an update on how a disappointing 6-6 season and some coaching changes has led to many transfers and decommitments out of the program:

2022 season: Hogs go 6-6 (3-5) with losses to Mississippi State (without KJ Jefferson), Liberty, and Missouri after starting out positively with a 3-0 start to their season (and wins over Cincinnati, South Carolina, and Missouri State). Arkansas played well at times against Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss but it never seemed like Arkansas played consistent football since their week 2 win over South Carolina on September 10.

Following the season, Arkansas lost defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Odom became the head coach of UNLV and brought along Missouri State head coach Bobby Petrino, who was Arkansas head coach from 2008-2012. Arkansas also lost tight end coach and top recruiter Dowell Loggains to be the South Carolina offensive coordinator. Arkansas has since lost defensive line commit Stephen Jones to Auburn, tight end commit Jaden Hamm (who will likely commit to Kansas), and wide receiver commit Micah Tease (who was also previously committed to Texas A&M). Current tight end commit Shamar Easter has also been rumored to flip to South Carolina to play for Arkansas’ tight end coach now at South Carolina. When it comes to their current roster, Arkansas lost tight end Trey Knox, safety Myles Slusher, wide receiver Ketron Jackson, and back up QB Malik Hornsby. Losing Hornsby is not a big deal with his problems passing the ball in Fayetteville and North Carolina transfer Jacolby Criswell coming into back up KJ Jefferson. Jefferson and Criswell are the only reasons why I am confident for Razorback football in the Liberty Bowl against Kansas and for the 2023 season. Outside of that, Arkansas hired Travis Williams to replace Barry Odom as their defensive coordinator, who worked under Gus Malzahn with the same role at both Auburn and Central Florida. Players that have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and not playing in the bowl game: receiver Jadon Haselwood, center Ricky Stromberg, linebacker Drew Sanders, and linebacker Bumper Pool (there are others but these are the notable ones). This may sound like a bunch of rambling but all of this to say, I am not confident in Razorback football going into next year.

By Carter Huff

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