One of the biggest question marks is of the off-season for the Arkansas Razorbacks is in their tight end room. Who will step up with super-senior, Blake Kern leaving the program? The Razorback coaching staff’s dating back to the Chad Morris days hasn’t necessarily stocked the position with talent to this point.
A lot of that has to do with the state of Arkansas’ lack of division one quality, SEC level tight ends. They do have four-star, Pulaski Academy and Razorback legacy, Hudson Henry on the roster. However, he hasn’t shown the greatness most had him destined for coming out of high school. Henry has shown flashes but not on a consistent basis.
The roster currently boasts quite a few tight ends on the roster with a converted wide receiver added to it. Trey Knox, a former four-star receiver out of Murfreesboro, (Tenn.) was highly regarded coming out of high school and played very well early in his freshman season as a Hog. An apparent hip injury midway Knox suffered midway through the 2019 season has hampered his production until this season.
The 6’5 230 pound converted receiver experienced quite a few highlights while becoming accustomed to his new position. He reeled in 20 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown. Knox is a willing downfield blocker, team player and will do what the coaches ask him to do with no excuses. With a full off-season with the new group, added weight and energy he brings to the team each day there’s a reason to be optimistic about his senior season.
Another converted tight end that could find himself playing time throughout the spring and next season is Landon Rogers. Kyle Sutherland of Scorebook Live describes Rogers as a very physical player that’s will initiate contact.
“I’ve said for 2-3 years Landon Rogers could be an All-SEC tight end or maybe even LB, but I like him more as a tight end. Not only is [Rogers] very athletic, his physically is up there with the best of them. I hardly ever saw him not looking for contact.”
You don’t find guys that just want to be football players everyday. The Little Rock Parkview product came to Arkansas as a quarterback at 6’4 210 pounds. With the depletion of depth at the position, Rogers voluntarily switched to tight end and it may just pay off with plenty of playing time open.
A true freshman to watch for is Tyrus Washington out of Leesburg, Ga. He reeled in 22 receptions for 307 yards (14.0 ypc) and five touchdowns as a senior. Washington chose the Razorbacks over South Carolina, Tennessee, Nebraska, UCF, Georgia Tech and others.
Washington is very athletic for his size and could be a matchup nightmare for defenses. His exceptional speed gives him the ability to stretch the field which is something the Razorbacks haven’t been able to utilize in a number of seasons. If he has a good spring expect Washington to rise up the depth chart rather quickly.