Throughout fall camp, Arkansas has been looking for depth at the wide receiver position. With the departure of Mike Woods to Oklahoma, there has been a hole behind clear front-runner Treylon Burks. After a few weeks of practice, it is looking as though Ketron Jackson might be that guy.
Jackson was an early enrollee for the Hogs but was dealing with an injury throughout the spring that kept him in a brace and kept him from really showing what he can do. Throughout the fall, however, he has been turning heads from his peers and coaches.
“He was nagged when he got here with an injury,” offensive coordinator Kendal Briles said. “He was an early-enrollee kid. Now, he’s healthy and he’s the Ketron we thought he was going to be. He just has to continue to grow and progress, and you’ll see him on Saturdays.”
A two-sport athlete in high school, Jackson’s track and field skills should translate to the football field well. He’s a big-bodied receiver who has a lot of speed and explosiveness that will put him in plenty of positions to succeed.
“Ketron, we knew from a recruiting standpoint was a very, very talented kid. A 25-foot long jumper as a junior in high school. He had a lot of pop, obviously had a ton of offers.”
It’s not just the coaches that are seeing Jackson’s potential. Starting quarterback KJ Jefferson had a lot of good things to say about the freshman.
“Ketron has been very explosive on the outside,” Jefferson said. “I feel like he can help us on the down the field plays. A big body on the little corners and everything and getting open down the field.”
Jefferson has seen Jackson’s development after getting back to 100%, and it was apparent to him in the spring that Jackson would get better.
“I feel like during the spring he was kind of hesitant,” Jefferson said. “Coming out with that knee brace on his leg I felt like he was kind of hesitant. Trying to get a feel of college and the speed of the game and how it works. Now that he’s got that brace off I feel like he’s headed for a lot of big things for us.”
As far as depth goes in the wide receiver room, there is plenty of potential, but not a lot of proven depth. Guys like Tyson Morris, Trey Knox, and De’Vion Warren all have experience in the Arkansas system. Ideally, you would like to have every receiver ready to go on game day, but the Hogs will really need a solid three or four guys to rise to the top so that KJ Jefferson can get some consistency going.
Jackson is a true freshman from Royse City, Texas who chose the Hogs over Texas, Penn State, TCU, and tons of other schools. 247Sports has Jackson rated as a 4-star prospect coming out of high school.
The Razorbacks will kick off the season at home on September 4 against Rice. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.
For more coverage of the Arkansas football team, follow me on Twitter @DanFairHogs!