We look back on the 2022 season and we think what about it?
A successful regular season capped off with a New Year’s Day victory in the Outback Bowl. A 24-10 victory over a historic Penn State program. Albeit the Nittany Lions had a load of opt-outs, no one will remember that in the box score when they rewind history ten years from now.
A coaching staff assembled by one of the more well respected men in college football, Sam Pittman, has helped revive Arkansas from the depths of cold cellar. They are great at pushing players, recruiting the men they need, developing the athletes they have, coaching up and motivating them to play out of their minds each week. 2021 was just the start of something special.
The Texas win foreshadowed just how good this Arkansas team really was. Fans rushed the field, the running backs and Jefferson are still running all over the state of Texas and Pittman was telling everyone to turn their jukeboxes up! Yeah, Arkansas wasn’t back but they were dang close!
The Alabama loss showed us how close the Razorbacks are from competing in the SEC West.
Arkansas was two points away from having their first 10-win season since 2011. It’s been a decade since Hog fans have been given a reason to be proud of its state’s flagship football program. The football program was literally wrecked into a ditch. Many folks around the program, donors and board members alike, thought it would take a decade for Arkansas football to get back on track. I laughed at them in the moment but they were right all along. It really did take a decade.
KJ Jefferson fought his way into being taken seriously as a SEC quarterback. He’s not only a legitimate player or the year type but a Heisman contender. With virtually everyone on offense returning, Kendal Briles coaching a development, plus a few newcomers this offense could be even more explosive than this year. A Briles family delight.
This Razorback defense was a blue collar, outwork you type of defense that Barry Odom is well known for. He takes less-recruited players and positions them to succeed. They have recruited well on the defensive side of the ball to continue being better in 2022. The linebacker play was excellent, the defensive line improved due to key transfers and Montaric Brown was one of the best in the nation at intercepting passes. With Jalen Catalon returning the sky is the limit for the Hog defense.
Arkansas recruited well this season. Winning will certainly do that for you and pay off in the long run. Especially for the 2023 class which has a few studs committed already. The 2022 class they signed is top 20 overall and one of the highest rated classes Arkansas has ever brought in. Many of them may not play early but Pittman is pulling in some SEC level players in the program.
How are you feeling about the future of Razorback football? Leave a comment here or leave a reply in the tweet @jacobscottdavis or @arkansasfight.