Arkansas’ linebacker depth has lacked for a long time, but Pooh changes things

·2 min read

Christopher Paul. Chris Paul. Pooh Paul.

The Arkansas redshirt freshman linebacker may finally be the player the Razorbacks have sought for the last 10 years. He’s so new to the lineup, it’s unclear what he’ll be known as going forward.

And, yes, it’s been that long since Arkansas has had three linebackers who were all in the top five on the team in tackles outside of last year’s magical season of Grant Morgan, Bumper Pool and Hayden Henry. And that only happened because of the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility.

Arkansas has had excellent duos practically every year since. Montrell Speight. Brooks Ellis. Dre Greenlaw. De’Jon Harris. Morgan. Henry. Pool. One always played with the other.

Now, even, it’s Pool and Alabama transfer Drew Sanders. Pool’s eligibility is exhausted after this season. But Sanders has more time and Paul is in only three games into his four year-career on the field. So far, so good, especially last week.

“He got more reps this week than he did the previous week,” coach Sam Pittman. “He’s a good player. Physical guy. He’s playing mistake-free football.”

That’s all Arkansas needs right now. Anything above and beyond mistake-free football, allows the Hogs to give opponents different looks. Arkansas has played several years now almost exclusively with five defensive backs and often with six. Part of that is the nature of the game. But more of it was because of a lack of depth. Paul’s growth – he has 10 tackles in two games, tied for fourth on the team.

“When he gets a lot of his reps is when we’re in the three-linebacker look when Drew’s on the field as a rush, jack, buck, whatever you want to call it. We’re getting more comfortable in that set because of the play of Pooh.”

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire