Arkansas was in definite need of added depth in their linebacker room with the departure of two great ones.
Bumper Pool and Drew Sanders left what continues to be one of the more under-appreciated rooms in not only the conference but all of college football.
The success at the position certainly had to be a selling point again with the addition of Antonio Grier from South Florida.
Grier suffered an injury at the beginning of this season but had a breakout 2021 campaign where he led the team with 92 tackles, including 52 unassisted, eight tackles for loss and three sacks. With that performance, Grier would be named to the second team All-AAC.
As a transfer, Pittman made it known that transfers would have to work their way into starter reps during the spring. That must mean the USF transfer has been one of the hardest workers in the room since he’s been getting run with the first team during drills.
“I have been getting to go with the ones and twos….The coaches do a tremendous job of rotating everybody,” said Grier.
When Grier was asked why he chose Arkansas he said he immediately looked at the offense.
“They’re going to score some points this year,” Grier replied. ““When I look at the quarterback and running back… I think they’re the best duo in all of college football.”
That’s not too far from the opinion of most college football writers and national media think either. Many offseason top unit lists seem to have KJ Jefferson and Raheim Sanders near the top.
Leadership will be vital in the locker room. Although Chris “Pooh” has stepped up in the role of the vocal leader in the locker room, Grier brings plenty of college experience. More than any other Razorback linebacker has.
“I told Pooh the other day that I am coming here to be a part of this team. I’m not coming over here to take over your room,” said Grier.
After saying that, Grier mentioned that he and his linebacker mates have built quite the bond. It also flows over to all groups on the defense. Their goal is to create unity in the locker room that helps with chemistry on the field.
“He’s a leader…. a joy to be around,” said Landon Jackson. “In the weight room he’s always clapping it up and cheering us on. He always brings joy. When he walks in a room he’s always smiling and in a good mood… he’s just another brother.”
Arkansas will host their annual spring game next Saturday, April 15th inside Razorback Stadium beginning at noon.