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Six Reasons To Be Hopeful For Hog Football in 2022

There’s a lot of reasons to look forward to a great season come Fall 2022 and Razorback Football is one of them!

Outback Bowl - Arkansas v Penn State Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

•KJ Jefferson returns at quarterback

Kendal Briles hasn’t returned a starting quarterback since his days with RG3. You know, the former Heisman winner and second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The redshirt-junior from Sardis, (Miss) is set to have a tremendous season at the reins of the Razorback offense. Jefferson is the first true dual threat quarterback since the early 2000’s with Matt Jones. He very well top Jones’ best rushing total of 707 yards in 2003 and finish his career as one of the best to do it in Cardinal and White.

With a favorable home schedule and road games that are likely played in primetime Jefferson could very well enter into the Heisman talk early on next season.

•The defensive portal additions

There wasn’t another program in the country that added to their roster through the transfer portal on defense like the Hogs. They attacked and are bringing studs in for all three levels of the defense.

Gone are the defensive darlings like Hayden Henry and Grant Morgan. Also, long term starters Joe Foucha and Greg Brooks left for LSU. But Arkansas received tremendous upgrades with defensive lineman Jordan Domenick, Terry Hampton and Landon Jackson. Former Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders will give stability and instant playmaker at the position. Finally, Dwight McGlothern (LSU) and Latavious Brini (Georgia) give the Razorbacks former SEC starting experience to shore up what they lost.

Arkansas has bolstered the defensive side of the football and it should be praised. If will surely give Barry Odom something to work with this fall.

•Jalen Catalon is BACK!

The CAT is back after missing much of last season with a shoulder injury. According to Big Game Boomer on Twitter, Catalon is considered top five safety in all of college football.

He is a lethal hitter and has the ball skills to turn interceptions into long returns or touchdowns. Although his teammate Myles Slusher performed admirably in Catalon’s absence, the impact of the injury to arguably Arkansas’ most talented player was great.

The Razorbacks likely have one more year with Catalon before he goes onto the NFL and he wants to go out on a special note.

•Jadon Haselwood

No one is going to replace a Treylon Burks type of receiver but that’s who Arkansas’ newest wideout will be compared to. During a spring meeting with the media, Haselwood had this to say about the comparison:

“I know everybody expects me to fill [Burks] shoes. But like I said, [Burks] is one of a kind. So I’m just trying to get in where I fit in and make plays with the team.”

The Oklahoma transfer finished his Sooner career with 62 catches for 736 yards and 7 TDs.

He comes to Arkansas as a former five-star prospect, the top ranked wide receiver and fourth overall prospect in the class of 2019. Obviously, the talent is there as the scouts said but the Razorback coaching staff could tap into his unseen full potential.

•A cold-blooded kicker

The guy makes kicking look easy and nothing ever bothers him in the biggest of moments. Arkansas was tied with LSU in the final moments leading up to the game winning field goal by Cam Little. The freshman phenom made 20-of-24 field goals in 2021 with the longest of 51-yards coming against Mississippi State. Little was also a perfect 46-of-46 on PAT’s last season, too.

Special teams is a weapon if you have it and when you have a good kicker in college football it’s nearly a priceless thing to have.

•The hardest games are at home!

Finally, Arkansas has their hardest games all at home. Those 50-50 games against Ole Miss, LSU and Cincinnati are all in Fayetteville. Ready to upset Alabama? Yeah, the storm could be brewing inside Razorback Stadium in 2022.

If Arkansas has any plans on moving their way up to being a tier one Southeastern Conference team, winning 10 games with this schedule is a must.