Arkansas football roster tracker: Who will play for the Razorbacks in the 2022 season?

·8 min read

With transfers, extra years of eligibility, redshirts and recruiting classes, keeping track of who's gone and who's back in college football is confusing.

Arkansas has had more than a dozen players transfer since the end of the season and a handful declare for the NFL Draft, not to mention those forgoing an extra year of eligibility or simply finishing their careers.

Here's a position-by-position rundown of who is gone, who will be back and who will be new for Arkansas in 2022.

Quarterback

Who's gone: Redshirt junior John Stephen Jones, grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, was honored at senior day and is reportedly no longer with the team. He appeared in seven total games over four seasons. Redshirt freshman and Ole Miss transfer Kade Renfro tore his ACL during bowl practices in December, and while he remains with the team, he'll be recovering from surgery, which can take nine months.

Who's back: KJ Jefferson is the undisputed starter. He'll be in his redshirt junior year in 2022, meaning he'll still get another three years of eligibility thanks to the extra year the NCAA granted athletes due to the pandemic. Malik Hornsby, his backup, will also return after entering the transfer portal and withdrawing his name a week later. Freshman Lucas Coley will also be back.

Who's new: South Florida transfer Cade Fortin is a walk-on.

Running back

Who's gone: Trelon Smith, who began this season as a starter before Raheim Sanders and Dominique Johnson earned bigger roles, shared an Instagram post shortly after the Outback Bowl indicating he would not return for his final year. On Jan. 19, Sanders entered the transfer portal.

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T.J. Hammonds, a sixth-year senior, will also not return. The bulk of Hammonds' playing time came during the 2017 season, when he had 262 rushing yards in nine games.

Who's back: Johnson and Sanders will likely anchor the rushing attack . Sanders was a freshman this season, and Johnson a sophomore. Sanders finished behind Jefferson and Smith as team's third-leading rusher with 578 yards. Johnson, who started six games, was behind him with 575 on 97 carries.

Also returning are freshmen AJ Green, a four-star recruit who appeared in 12 games, and Javion Hunt and redshirt sophomore Reid Turner.

Who's new: One running back signed in the class of 2022, three-star James Jointer out of Parkview Magnet in Little Rock. He was the state's No. 5 player per 247Sports Composite. Three-star Rashad Dubinion out of Cedar Grove in Ellenwood, Georgia, primarily played running back in high school but could play elsewhere.

Wide receiver

Oct 9, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Warren Thompson (84) catches a pass for a touchdown with 1 second to go against Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Warren Thompson (84) catches a pass for a touchdown with 1 second to go against Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Who's gone: Treylon Burks entering the NFL Draft leaves behind a large gap to be filled. De'Vion Warren and Tyson Morris, the team's second-leading receiver, helped to fill that gap in the Outback Bowl, but both are out of eligibility. Reserves Kendall Catalon. Darin Turner and John David White all entered the transfer portal.

Who's back: The most experienced returner is Warren Thompson, whose 304 yards on 19 receptions was the third most for the Razorbacks. Ketron Jackson Jr., Jaquayln Crawford and Bryce Stephens all had fewer than 10 catches. Freshman Jaedon Wilson and redshirt freshman Chris Harris did not play, and Harper Cole appeared in five games with no catches.

Who's new: Arkansas added an impressive haul of receivers in its 2022 class, plus Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood. Haselwood, who will be a junior, was a five-star recruit and the No. 1 receiver in the class of 2019. He appeared in 12 games for the Sooners in 2021, tallying 399 yards on 39 receptions.

Arkansas signed four-stars Isaiah Sategna and Quincy McAdoo and three-star Samuel M'Bake. All three could become major contributors in the near future.

Tight end

Who's gone: The only tight end to leave is the most experienced: sixth-year senior Blake Kern. Kern started all 13 games in 2021 and appeared in every game the past three seasons.

Who's back: Hudson Henry was second on the depth chart behind Kern for most of the year before Trey Knox moved from receiver to tight end and took the second spot for the final three games. Nathan Bax and Landon Rogers are the only other returners with game experience.

Who's new: Arkansas signed a pair of three-stars Dax Courtney and Tyrus Washington, but with Henry, Knox and other players with experience returning, they seem unlikely to play right away.

Offensive line

Who's gone: Seniors Ty Clary, Myron Cunningham and Shane Clenin will not return. Cunningham was a three-year starter, and Clary started for much of 2019 and 2020 with a few starts in 2021. Redshirt freshman Ray Curry Jr. transferred to Alabama A&M.

Who's back: Arkansas retains most of its starting offensive linemen with Dalton Wagner, Ricky Stromberg, Beaux Limmer and Brady Latham all returning. Redshirt junior Luke Jones was behind Cunningham on the depth chart and seems a strong candidate to replace him. Reserves Ty'Kieast Crawford, Austin Nix and seven other linemen will also be back.

Who's new: Four-stars Andrew Chamblee and E'Marion Harris are the second- and third-highest rated players in Arkansas' recruiting class. Three-stars Patrick Kutas and Eli Henderson round out Pittman's crop of linemen.

Defensive line

Oct 16, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive lineman Jashaud Stewart (58) forces a fumble while tackling Auburn Tigers running back Jarquez Hunter (27) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive lineman Jashaud Stewart (58) forces a fumble while tackling Auburn Tigers running back Jarquez Hunter (27) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Who's gone: Arkansas' top pass rusher, Tre Williams, declared for the NFL Draft. Defensive tackle John Ridgeway did, too, and fellow starter at tackle Markell Utsey will not return. Solomon Wright, Andy Boykin and Jalen Williams have all decided to transfer.

Who's back: Sophomore Jashaud Stewart filled in for Tre Williams at defensive end in the Outback Bowl and will be back. Zach Williams could also work into a starting role, having started at jack in the bowl game. Eric Gregory was behind Utsey on the depth chart. Other notable returners to watch include junior Mataio Soli, sophomore Eric Thomas Jr. and redshirt senior Isaiah Nichols.

Who's new: LSU transfer Landon Jackson was a major offseason get for Arkansas at edge rusher. The former four-star recruit played in five games before sustaining an injury. Three-stars JJ Hollingsworth and Nico Davillier will join as freshmen.

Linebackers

Who's gone: The linebacker position will be among the most interesting to watch next season, as starters Grant Morgan and Hayden Henry won't return. Both were among the top three tacklers on the team, and Henry led the Razorbacks in tackles for loss with 12.

Andrew Parker looked to gain more playing time, having been behind Morgan on the depth chart and appearing in 12 games, but entered the transfer portal Jan. 20. J.T. Towers and Chandler McIntosh also left via the portal, and Deon Edwards is out of eligibility.

Who's back: Arkansas returns a total of 10 linebackers, most notably Bumper Pool. Pool was the team leader in tackles with 125 and brings much-needed experience and leadership to the linebacker corps.

Who's new: Alabama transfer Drew Sanders will add experience to Arkansas' roster. The sophomore started three games and played in 12. Fayetteville native Mani Powell, Texas product Jordan Crook and Shiloh Christian alum Kaden Henley make up the three three-stars Arkansas signed.

Defensive backs

Who's gone: Arkansas lost a trio of starters in the secondary. Safety Joe Foucha and nickelback Greg Brooks Jr. both transferred to LSU, while safety Montaric Brown declared for the NFL Draft. Nick Turner, Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan and Devin Bush also entered the transfer portal.

Who's back: Safety Jalen Catalon is the biggest name returning for his fourth year. Catalon was a starter and had 46 tackles and two interceptions in six games before suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. Starting safety Myles Slusher will also be back, as will notable reserves Malik Chavis, Simeon Blair LaDarrius Bishop, Hudson Clark and Jayden Johnson along with nine others.

Who's new: LSU transfer Dwight McGlothern will enter the mix. He appeared in nine games this season, tallying 32 tackles and a 37-yard interception returned for a touchdown against Florida. Three-star prospects Anthony Brown and Jaylen Lewis will join from the class of 2022.

Specialists

Who's gone: Long snapper Jordan Silver, a four-year starter, has finished his career, as did reserve punter Sam Loy. Backup kicker Vito Calvaruso transferred to Wisconsin.

Who's back: Freshman Cam Little, who became something of a cult hero this season, will be back, as will punter Reid Bauer. Bauer won the Mortell Award for the nation's best holder and had a heroic jump pass on a fake punt for a touchdown against Alabama. Patrick Foley returns as a reserve punter, and Francisco Castro and John Oerhlein return as long snappers.

Who's new: Wisconsin product Eli Stein will join the specialists as Arkansas' third long snapper.

Christina Long covers the Arkansas Razorbacks. You can email her at clong@swtimes.com or follow her on Twitter @christinalong00.

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Arkansas football roster tracker: Who's gone, back and new in 2022?

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