NWADG College Football


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15 NWA COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW | 8.28.2022 need to provide some help. Redshirt freshman Cam Ball and Lewis were out for a week early in camp after sustaining head injuries. Ball could be a key part of the rotation. If seventh-year end Dorian Gerald can provide some quality work, the Razorbacks will be deeper than they seem. LINEBACKERS The big three of Grant Morgan, Hayden Henry and Bumper Pool of last year could morph into a big trio of Pool, Drew Sanders and Chris Paul for position coach Michael Scherer this time around. However, the depth behind them looks quite promising, with Jordan Crook in particular flashing big pop in camp. Fellow freshman Kaden Henley and Mani Powell and rambunctious sophomore Jackson Woodard will also be angling for playing time this year and down the line. Pool is working on perfecting the fine details after a 125-tackle season as a one-game starter, and Tony Bua's school record of 408 tackles is within reach for the fifth-year standout, who is now ninth with 349. Sanders' pass-rushing skills should make him a dangerous edge rusher. Could the rotation expand to five or six players for the first time in years? SECONDARY The return of Jalen Catalon from shoulder surgery is one of the best pieces of news for the 2022 season for defensive coordinator Barry Odom and corners coach Dominique Bowman. If Catalon returns to his instinctive and hard-hitting ways after clearly playing through pain for half of last year before finally having shoulder surgery, the Razorbacks' secondary could move up a level. Catalon will be joined by senior Simeon Blair at safety, while Myles Slusher looks entrenched at the nickel spot with backup help from Trent Gordon. Hudson Clark and Malik Chavis held the top cornerback spots through the first scrimmage, with Dwight McGlothern, LaDarrius Bishop, Khari Johnson and Keaun Parker in position to push for reps. The corners had their hands full trying to cover the transformed Arkansas receiving corps in camp. Odom would like to do more blitzing, but that's contingent on the corners being able to hold up when isolated in man. Latavious Brini, Jayden Johnson, Anthony Brown and Jacorrei Turner all look to wrangle some playing time in the deepest secondary the Razorbacks have featured for years. SPECIAL TEAMS Media members haven't seen much of the kicking game at all in camp. Cam Little made 4 of 5 field goals during the first scrimmage but missed his try in the two-minute drill late in the workout. Little was clutch as a freshman last year when his 106 points tied for third on the Hogs' single- season kick scoring chart, so there's no reason to think he won't have a comparable season. The Razorbacks had two kickoffs go out of bounds and also drew two illegal formation flags on punts in the scrimmage opener, so there's improvements to be made there. Reid Bauer has spent the past two years fending off challenges at punter and the newest one will come from huge-legged Max Fletcher, a freshman who learned his chops at Pro Kick Australia, which has put dozens of punters into the college and pro ranks. Bryce Stephens showed promise as a punt returner last season and it looks like freshman Isaiah Sategna will challenge him for that role. Lightning fast Matt Landers, the 6-5 transfer, might be the man to be for the kickoff return duties, though players like Myles Slusher, Jadon Haselwood, AJ Green and Harper Cole could be in the mix for the position that has gotten less and less action in recent years. Bauer should be in position to resume his holder duties, and freshman Eli Stein had the early edge in camp to replace four-year wonder Jordan Silver as the deep snapper. New Larger Showroom! • Ceramic Tile • Porcelain Tile • Natural Stone Tile Call 479-751-4043 today to Schedule an Appointment! 479.751.4043 13241 Puppy Creek Rd Suite 6 I-49 @ Wagon Wheel Rd Exit 76 www.townzentile.com Best of Northwest Arkansas the CALLING THE HOGS for 50 years! Hudson Clark | Arkansas Cornerback File Photo

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