KJ Jefferson, Sam Pittman like what they’ve seen from Arkansas’ new wideouts in spring practice
You’re forgiven if you need an old-fashioned program to identify Arkansas’ wide receivers.
The Razorbacks lost Jadon Haselwood, Matt Landers, Warren Thompson and Ketron Jackson – their top four – from last year’s team. In their stead are transfers Isaac TeSlaa, Andrew Armstrong and Tyrone Broden.
But just because the known quantities are gone, don’t expect a massive drop-off. After all, KJ Jefferson is still running the show from behind center. He likes he’s seen from the newcomers so far, too.
“Those guys came in and worked, and I’m just glad to have those guys on my side,” Jefferson said. “Just bringing in work ethic here and just all the other guys being able to just feed off the energy and that work ethic just grows that talent in that room and the competition level.”
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has been impressed, too. Broden, at 6-foot-7, brings an element the Razorbacks haven’t had in ages – if ever – and his speed has shocked the Razorbacks coach.
“I knew [Broden] was tall and could catch, I didn’t know how fast he was. He can run, now. He can go,” Pittman said.
Broden caught 32 passes for 506 yards and seven touchdowns last year for Bowling Green. TeSlaa caught 68 balls for 1,325 yards with 14 touchdowns last season at Hillsdale College in the Division II level. Armstrong caught 62 passes for 1,020 yards and 13 touchdowns last season at FCS’ Texas A&M-Commerce.
For now, the veterans are getting most first-team reps, though that’s partially because of familiarity. Jaedon Wilson, Samuel Mbake and Isaiah Sategna have been the starters. Wilson and Mbake are sophomores and Sategna is a freshman.
Jefferson has noticed Wilson’s jump, especially.
“Just see his growth and his maturity level and his football IQ just raise through the roof now,” the quarterback said. “Being able to see him grow in areas that he lacked in last year and taking that step forward, I’m extremely proud of him.”
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