The Hogs are set to hit the gridiron again for the first spring season under Head Coach Sam Pittman. The University of Arkansas football team will begin spring practice on Tuesday, March 9, and conclude the spring session with the annual Red-White game on April 17.
After a rollercoaster season of COVID-19 restrictions and wacky games, expectations for the Razorbacks are rising after Pittman’s first season. Pittman’s crew tallied a final record of 3-7 with victories against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. The Hogs fell to Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, and Missouri by a combined 18 points. Additionally, Arkansas lost to eastern division add-ons Florida and Georgia, and the eventual national champion Alabama.
During the season, a handful of position groups and players rose to the occasion to supply a long overdue spark to the team. The wide receivers group led by Treylon Burks became a weapon early for Kendall Briles and Felipe Franks. Likewise, Trelon Smith ran the ball with an attitude and will return to lead the run game in 2021. However, a lack of depth behind Smith will be a crucial emphasis for the offense heading into spring practice.
The highlight of spring practice for Razorback fans will be the quarterback battle that will surely be fun to follow. K.J. Jefferson is the likely favorite after his performance against Missouri, where he filled in for the injured Felipe Franks. Jefferson recorded 274 yards of passing for three touchdowns in a 48-50 loss to the Tigers in December. Jefferson will compete against highly touted young guns Malik Hornsby and Lucas Coley beginning this spring.
The Hogs open the season in September with back-to-back home games against former Southwest Conference rivals Rice and Texas before starting another grueling SEC schedule.