After an awful year with special teams, the Hogs look to be addressing the issue. After the departure of John Scott Jr., Arkansas has instead opted to add Daniel Da Prato to the coaching staff. Arkansas hasn’t officially announced him yet but all signs pointing to him being a special teams focused coach.
He recently announced he was leaving Colorado, where he was a Special Teams Quality Control coach for the past three years.
Buff Nation,— Daniel Da Prato (@CoachDaPrato) February 9, 2019
Thank you for the most amazing 3 years in #BeautifulBoulder I want thank @RunRalphieRun @CoachMikeMac @RickGeorgeCU @buffs4life2 @Coach_mtucker for giving me the opportunity to be a #Buff4Life I will always be a BUFF! #GoBuffs #NewChapter pic.twitter.com/HnLCWjOkxH
He then followed that up with this tweet.
Last season was a horrendous year for Arkansas special teams. Connor Limpert developed into a quality kicker, hitting 79% of his field goals, including going 2/3 from 50+ yards. He also hit every extra point last season.
However the rest of the kicking game and coverage had major issues. Without a dedicated special teams coach, it really felt like it wasn’t given the full attention it needed. Arkansas needs a lot of help in the punting game as well as kickoff coverage. Last year, Colorado was one of the top teams in the Pac-12 in kickoff and punt return yards allowed. They were 15th in Football Outsider’s Kickoff Efficiency numbers, and 58th in punt efficiency. Hopefully Da Prato giving more attention to that phase of the game is a benefit for the Hogs in 2019.