Hogs have reloaded with transfer portal, not rebuilt
on 2023-05-23 07:26 AM
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has used the transfer portal to reload for the 2023 season with 19 new additions thus far counting one junior college recruit.
The Razorbacks added 10 prospects at midterm and thus far have nine more slated to arrive on campus very soon. The Razorbacks have recruited for every position other than running back where they had no need from the portal.
At quarterback, Arkansas added former Morrilton standout Jacolby Criswell, 6-1, 220, from North Carolina at midterm. Criswell went through spring drills and appears to be the second-team quarterback heading into the fall camp. Sam Pittman said following the final spring scrimmage that Criswell is someone the Hogs feel can win SEC games.
The wide receiver spot saw Arkansas add three players at midterm. They were Isaac TeSlaa, 6-4, 214, from Hillsdale (Mich.) College, Andrew Armstrong, 6-4, 201, from Texas A&M-Commerce and Tyrone Broden, 6-7, 197, from Bowling Green. Broden suffered an injury in an early scrimmage and it hampered him rest of spring. But he will be fully healthy by the fall. Armstrong and TeSlaa received reps with the first unit at various times in the spring.
At tight end, Morgan Turner was able to add two new additions. North Texas’ Var’Keyes Gumms, 6-3, 235, was a huge addition. He should be able to step in and compete for a starting spot. Francis Sherman, 6-3, 234, comes over from Louisville and is known as a noted blocker. The addition of Gumms and Sherman gives the Hogs six players at that position now. Luke Hasz and Shamar Easter are true freshmen, Tyrus Washington is a redshirt freshman and Nathan Bax is a super senior who is a very good blocker.
The offensive line added Joshua Braun, 6-6, 341, from Florida. He’s competing with TyKieast Crawford the right guard spot. On Saturday, the Hogs reached into junior college to land center-guard Amaury Wiggins, 6-3, 310, from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. Wiggins played guard for the Red Ravens in 2022, but was working at center this spring. He and Braun were both big additions for Cody Kennedy and the Hogs.
The defensive line definitely got better as Deke Adams returns for his second season. He added Pitt defensive end John Morgan III, 6-2, 273, and Missouri defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat, 6-4, 280. Both went through spring drills and should be key members of the rotation there.
Inside, Adams has two players arriving in coming days who should play very big roles. Maryland’s Tank Booker, 6-4, 320, and Louisiana Tech’s Keivie Rose, 6-3, 303, are both expected to play very big roles on this defense. They are capable of starting or providing quality depth. Both are expected to be in the rotation at defensive tackle.
At linebacker, Arkansas lost Bumper Pool and Drew Sanders to the NFL. They brought in South Florida’s Antonio Grier, 6-1, 228, at midterm. He showed in spring drills his capabilities as well as outstanding attitude. He made it clear he’s ready to help the team in any capacity asked of him. The Hogs are also set to welcome Cincinnati linebacker Jaheim Thomas, 6-4, 245, to campus in coming days. They are familiar with him since he was on the other sideline to open the 2022 season.
The secondary is where Arkansas needed the most help and got it through the portal. At midterm they added two players from Baylor. Cornerback Lorando “Snaxx” Johnson, 6-0, 195, and safety Alfahiym Walcott, 6-2, 215, are both expected to play big roles this fall. Johnson was one of the biggest surprises in the spring. Walcott was injured and unable to practice in the spring, but he’s expected to play the nickel position this fall. Walcott was one of the prizes of the early portal haul. As it turns out Johnson deserves to be in that group receiving the most praise as well.
Arkansas will have three more defensive backs arriving on campus very soon. They are Georgia’s Jaheim Singletary, 6-2, 170, Western Kentucky’s AJ Brathwaite, 6-0, 195, and TCU’s Kee’yon Stewart, 6-0, 183. With the injury to Quincey McAdoo it’s important that all three of these new additions are able to help along with Johnson and Walcott.
Arkansas has one spot remaining in the Class of 2023. That spot is expected to go to either a defensive back, wide receiver or offensive lineman. Finding a safety would probably be the best use of that spot, but that also depends on what is left in the portal.
(Last updated: 2023-05-23 07:26 AM)