Throughout the 2023 fall camp, Arkansas’ defensive line has shown that it has the potential to be an elite position group this season.
The Razorbacks have historically struggled to get the right mix of athleticism, size and experience up front in the roster’s two and three-deep. That changed this offseason, as Sam Pittman and Deke Adams were able to get an influx of transfers who will contribute immediately.
One of the most talented transfers on the defensive line is former Missouri defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat. In four seasons with the Tigers, Jeffcoat recorded 84 total tackles (59 solo), 19.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery for touchdown. At 6-4, 281 pounds, Pittman says Jeffcoat is the ideal modern defensive end.
“In 1983, this (pointing to himself) is what an All-American defensive end looked like,” says Pittman. “2023, this (pointing to Jeffcoat) is what one of them looks like. He’s 280, can run 20 – what, 21? (miles per hour)”
“Very strong, very fast, great leader and to be honest with you, probably hungrier than you’ve ever been in your life, and that makes a big difference.”
Over the last two weeks through fall camp, Jeffcoat has become one of the standouts on the defensive side of the ball. He had another stellar performance in the team’s second – and final – scrimmage of camp last Saturday.
“It’s hard when you’ve got (Jeffcoat) coming off the edge,” Pittman said. “That’s a bad man back there. The other thing with him, we’re not going into the scrimmage saying we’re going to slide to him, we’re going to chip him or we’re going to do all those things. We’re trying to see if we have somebody that can block him.”
Jeffcoat is just one of a handful of experienced seniors on the defensive line. It looks like the Hogs could have the deepest defensive line group in modern history, with nine seniors and talented underclassmen like Landon Jackson and Nico Davillier.
We’ll get our first look at this Arkansas defensive line in a little over one week, when the Razorbacks open their season against Western Carolina. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 2 from War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
— Andrew Kauffman (@A_Kauff) November 20, 2021
"We got hot today, there was a little bit of tempers flaring out there back and forth."
HC Sam Pittman, as well as Trajan Jeffcoat and KJ Jefferson discussed the team's second scrimmage this morning. Hear the full press conferences below. #WPShttps://t.co/RaKFE4qhhg pic.twitter.com/EcglRWFTXM