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Arkansas Football 2018 Preview: Defensive Backs

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The Hogs have moved guys around to maximize talent on the field.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Mississippi State Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Main Returners

  • Montaric Brown (rFr, 6’0” 187 lbs.)
  • Chevin Calloway (So, 5’10” 190 lbs.)
  • Kamren Curl (So, 6’2” 201 lbs.)
  • Deon Edwards (So, 6’1” 212 lbs.)
  • D’Vone McClure (So. 6’2” 215 lbs.)
  • Ryan Pulley (Sr. 5’11” 198 lbs.)
  • Santos Ramirez (Sr, 6’2” 204 lbs.)
  • Kevin Richardson II (Sr, 5’11” 180 lbs.)
  • Britto Tutt (Jr, 6’1” 180 lbs.)

Newcomers

  • LaDarrius Bishop (Fr, 6’0” 196 lbs.)
  • Simeon Blair (Fr, 5’10” 201 lbs.)
  • Colton Chapin (Fr, 5’11” 170 lbs.)
  • Joseph Foucha (Fr, 5’11” 198 lbs.)
  • Jake Kuykendall (Fr, 5’10” 181 lbs.)
  • Myles Mason (Fr, 6’2” 208 lbs.)
  • Nathan Parodi (Fr, 5’9” 161 lbs.)

Who Else

  • Matt Berry (Jr. 5’10” 197 lbs.)
  • Jordon Curtis (rFr, 6’0” 179 lbs.)
  • Nate Dalton (Jr. 6’3” 195 lbs.)
  • Ryder Lucas (Sr, 6’0”188 lbs.)
  • Jarques McClellion (rFr, 6’0” 173 lbs.)
  • Jayden Minchew (So. 6’1” 190 lbs.)
  • Micahh Smith (So. 6’0” 203 lbs.)
  • Cameron Vail (Fr, 6’1” 180 lbs.)
  • Brenden Young (Jr, 6’1” 198 lbs.)

One Big Question: Will Players Shine In Their New Position?

Looking at the starting line, there is some solid talent in the defensive backs group. Kamren Curl has moved to safety after a year of trial by fire. Santos Ramirez and Chevin Calloway have cemented themselves as starters, and Ryan Pulley and Kevin Richardson are back from injuries that kept them out for the majority of the last season. Richardson will still likely miss the first few games of the year due to his surgery. Right now at practice D’Vone McClure has taken the spot with the ones at practice.

To get all of these guys on the field at the same time, a couple guys have had to move around. Santos is now at free safety instead of strong safety, and Curl’s move to strong safety allows the secondary to have both him and Pulley on the field at the same time.

The moves are all about maximizing the talent on the field. Right now that is what Arkansas, a team lacking in talent at the moment, needs. Even if there’s a learning curve at the position, the Hogs need their best playmakers on the field. It showed last year after Pulley went down and teams consistently went after Curl, the true freshman on the field. Curl held his own enough times to prove himself as a starter, but it shows the need that Arkansas has to get as many of their best guys on the field. The first three games of the season are against non-conference opponents, giving those in new spots chances to get live reps at their new spots, and be more used to them in SEC play. How quickly they adapt to those spots will have a big role in the defense’s success in 2018.