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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Arkansas
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  11/26/20 - Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  Coach Sam Pittman took issue on social media Monday when he felt an Arkansas fan seemed to suggest he wasn't taking up for safety Jalen Catalon, who was ejected on a controversial targeting penalty in the second half against LSU. The Tigers completed a touchdown drive eight plays after Catalon's ejection to take a 27-24 lead that would hold up. Someone who identified himself as an Arkansas fan had this to say in response to a media member's Twitter post quoting Pittman as saying Catalon would have to miss the first half and there was no way to overturn the ruling: "I get it Coach Pittman is a great guy but sometimes for the long term betterment for your program you got to stand up and call it/who for what it is!"

Pittman did not like what he felt was the implied meaning of the post, that he felt Pittman wasn't standing up for Catalon by not calling out the SEC. "Twitter gives guys like you opportunities to set behind a cell phone and tweet out random things that you have NO idea what you're talking about," Pittman replied. "I can take a lot of remarks but for you to say I don't take up for my players is as far from being correct as you possibly can be." - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#1 SS) rFr/2024 SS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/25/20 - Mike WoodsJr/2022, Arkansas, 6-0, 196 (DS#45 WR) + More +

  Arkansas receiver Mike Woods is on a big-play streak after catching four passes for a career-high 140 yards against LSU. Woods has 2 touchdowns and 269 receiving yards on his last 6 receptions, which averages to 44.8 yards per catch. "Give that man a nickname," SEC Network analyst Matt Stinchcomb said after Woods' second 50-yard catch to set up Trelon Smith's go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter. "Big-play Mike. All he does is catch balls downfield." Woods said the big plays are must-haves in the SEC.

"We've got big-play players on our team," Woods said. "Our wideout room is full of big-play players. So is our running back room." Woods has improved his average to 20.5 yards per catch, highest on the team. His 553 receiving yards trails Treylon Burks by 45 yards for the team lead. "He just continues to get better," Coach Sam Pittman said. "He's a go-to guy." Woods said he looks for the go-route option when the Razorbacks see man coverage. "When it's man-to-man, I'm already looking at Coach [Kendal] Briles," Woods said to describe how his big plays came about against LSU. "I just went deep. You've got to make plays in this league. You've got to make plays and contested catches." - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#45 WR) Jr/2022 WR Mike WoodsArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/21/20 - Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  Safety Jalen Catalon's reputation as a hard-striking defender is growing. It's an issue receivers who cross the middle of the field must be aware of when preparing for the Razorbacks. Catalon, who has 10 first-half tackles in each of the past two games, delivered a hit on Florida's Trent Whittemore in the first half that sent the 6-4, 208-pound freshman out of the game. The Athletic reported on Monday that Whittemore suffered a broken rib and a punctured lung in the game. In the second half, Justin Shorter dropped a pass over the middle after a huge shoulder-led shot by Catalon that popped the wideout's helmet off. Shorter acted strangely after the big hit, walking behind the Gators' line of scrimmage toward their sideline with no helmet and needing a minute to compose himself as the game was paused. Shorter returned a few plays later. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#1 SS) rFr/2024 SS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/21/20 - Jonathan MarshallrSr/2021, Arkansas, 6-2, 317 (DS#54 DT) + More +

  Jonathan Marshall has been one of the most disruptive defensive players in the Southeastern Conference this season. His motor and production at defensive tackle have lifted his chances of furthering his football career at the next level. In fact, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has already spoken with multiple professional scouts about Marshall. The Shepherd, Texas, native could be the next Razorbacks defender to earn his shot in the NFL. If Marshall is drafted in 2021, he would become the eighth Arkansas defensive lineman to be selected since 2014, joining the likes of McTelvin Agim (Denver Broncos) and Armon Watts (Minnesota Vikings), another player who flourished late in his college career.

"He's played his way into a (draft-worthy) player, I believe," Pittman said Monday. "And you're not going to get a whole lot better kid than him if you take him on your football team, so absolutely. He's had a really good year and I'm proud for him. "I believe he will get looks in the NFL." Marshall, who entered 2020 with 35 career tackles and five for lost yardage, leads all Razorbacks defensive linemen with 26 tackles through seven games. He also has at least one tackle for loss in Arkansas' last five games. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#54 DT) rSr/2021 DT Jonathan MarshallArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/21/20 - DeVion WarrenSr/2021, Arkansas, 5-10, 186 (DS#79 WR) + More +

  Arkansas receiver De'Vion Warren will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL injury. Warren was injured while returning a kickoff during the fourth quarter of the Razorbacks' 63-35 loss at No. 6 Florida on Saturday. "I hate it for him, but he has a good attitude about it," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said Monday. "I feel terrible it happened." Warren, a senior who is eligible to return in 2021, was in the midst of a breakout season on offense. He had 15 catches for 278 yards and three touchdowns. On Oct. 10 at Auburn, Warren had five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass during the Razorbacks' victory at Mississippi State the week before. With Warren out of the lineup, Pittman said receivers Trey Knox and Tyson Morris will be called on to play more. Morris has backed up Warren this season and has five receptions for 47 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown catch at Texas A&M. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#79 WR) Sr/2021 WR DeVion WarrenArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/09/20 - Feleipe FranksrSr/2021, Arkansas, 6-6, 228 (DS#9 QB) + More +

  Quarterback Feleipe Franks made his first SEC start against Tennessee three years ago and got the victory. Franks, a senior graduate for the University of Arkansas, beat the Vols in his latest SEC start, too. Franks completed 18 of 24 passes for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception to help Arkansas to a 24-13 victory over Tennessee on Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. He also had a 24-yard run. "We count on Feleipe," Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said. "He's our guy. And I'm glad he has done well against Tennessee. "He's a tough guy and did some things with his legs again. He was banged up and played. He's our leader. He's our bell cow, or however you want to say it."

In 2017 as a redshirt freshman, Franks started Florida's SEC opener against Tennessee and connected with Tyrie Cleveland on a 63-yard touchdown pass on the game's final play to lift the Gators to a 26-20 victory. Franks also started in Florida's 47-21 victory over Tennessee in 2018. He didn't play against the Vols last year after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the third game at Kentucky. Franks is 3-0 as a starter against Tennessee and has combined to complete 45 of 70 passes for 699 yards and 8 touchdowns with 1 interception. "It's always been fun playing Tennessee," Franks said. "I think they're a good team. I think they're well coached. Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt does a great job. "Our guys, we just came out and fought today. We had a really good game plan and had to execute it better in the second half." - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#9 QB) rSr/2021 QB Feleipe FranksArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/09/20 - Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  NOV 9 SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jalen Catalon, DB, Arkansas,...Made 12 tackles with an interception and a forced fumble in Arkansas' win over Tennessee...Registered 10 tackles in the first quarter...Intercepted his second pass of the year in the end zone on Tennessee's last offensive play, sealing the Razorbacks' third win of the season...Part of a defense that limited Tennessee to 107 passing yards, the Vols' lowest since 2017 against Alabama (44 yards)...For the season, is the only FBS freshman to have 50+ tackles (58) and multiple interceptions (2)...Since 2000, has the most tackles by any SEC freshman in the season's first six games. - SEC Football

(DS#1 SS) rFr/2024 SS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: SEC Football
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  11/07/20 - Feleipe FranksrSr/2021, Arkansas, 6-6, 228 (DS#9 QB) + More +

  Feleipe Franks threw three touchdown passes in the second half to lead Arkansas in a 24-13, come-from-behind win against Tennessee on Saturday night. The Razorbacks (3-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed 13-0 at halftime before scoring on four straight drives in the third quarter. Each touchdown came faster than the one before as Arkansas found the end zone on 16-play, 3-play and 2-play consecutive series. Franks threw touchdown passes to Mike Woods, Blake Kern and a 59-yarder to Treylon Burks. A.J. Reed's 48-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in the third quarter capped the scoring. "We did talk (at halftime) about making some explosive plays. We had to get our engine revved up," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. "Feliepe threw them. We did need something momentum wise, some kind of big play to get us kind of going. It seemed like there were several of them, boom, boom, boom." Franks finished 18 of 24 for 215 yards passing and three scores. - AP College Football

(DS#9 QB) rSr/2021 QB Feleipe FranksArkansas
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/06/20 - Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  Big hits from Catalon have occurred on nearly a weekly basis. Tone-setting type hits from the big-bodied safety against Georgia and Ole Miss certainly stand out. A jarring hit freed a would-be completion at Auburn, too. But he perhaps goes for the body blow too much for Pittman's liking. "He's going to have to slow down and wrap up a little bit every now and then," Pittman said. "He'll miss some tackles that certainly he wanted to make. But you don't want to take that physicality away from him because he'll also kind of knock you out. "We'd like to keep the knockout part and maybe wrap up a little bit more."

Pittman reiterated, though, that Catalon - third on the team with 46 tackles, including a team-high 30 solos - is the most important player in the back end of the Razorbacks' defense. He will play a vital role for Arkansas against Tennessee as it looks to win its second consecutive home game Saturday. The Razorbacks have not won back-to-back SEC home games since 2016. "He's aware of what teams are doing because he watches a tremendous amount of film," Pittman said. "So does the whole secondary back there, but very, very, very valuable to our football team as a young man and as a player. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#1 SS) rFr/2024 SS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/04/20 - Rakeem BoydSr/2021, Arkansas, 6-0, 206 (DS#9 RB) + More +

  The Aggies won 42-31 at Kyle Field, but a bright spot for the Razorbacks was establishing a running game that had been lacking through the first four games. Arkansas came into the game averaging 102.3 rushing yards -- 12th in the SEC and 88th nationally -- but the Razorbacks ran well from the start. Rakeem Boyd gained 10 yards on Arkansas' first snap of what became a 12-play, 87-yard touchdown drive highlighted by 63 rushing yards. The drive included a 28-yard run by quarterback Feleipe Franks. It was the longest rushing play by a Razorback this season, and Franks had another 28-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter on a touchdown drive.

Boyd, who prior to Saturday night had 33 carries for 88 yards after missing most of the Mississippi State game and sitting out at Auburn because of an ankle injury, had 18 carries for 100 yards. He capped his game with a 14-yard touchdown run. "It seemed like he ran really hard and did a nice job carrying, holding onto [the] ball and getting extra yards," Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said. "It was good to see him have a game like that." It was Boyd's ninth game with 100 or more rushing yards in three seasons with the Razorbacks after he redshirted at Texas A&M in 2016 as a true freshman and played at Independence (Kan.) Community College in 2017. Boyd has 2,055 rushing yards at Arkansas, the first Razorback with 2,000 or more since Alex Collins had 3,703 from 2013-15. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#9 RB) Sr/2021 RB Rakeem BoydArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/28/20 - Grant MorganrSr/2021, Arkansas, 5-11, 222 (DS#21 ILB) + More +

  Morgan, who arrived in Fayetteville as walk-on from Greenwood, shared SEC Defensive Player of the Week with Jaycee Horn of South Carolina. The Football Writers Association of America and Athlon Sports also recognized Morgan as their national Defensive Player of the Week. "We couldn't be more proud of Grant," Greenwood coach Chris Young said after Morgan made 19 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown against Ole Miss. "I told our players the story about when Grant was a senior here and a local, state college came in and wanted to see him play before they offered him a scholarship. The head coach walked into coach (Rick) Jones' office after the game and said, 'Guys, we're sorry, but I can't take him." Morgan, who was our Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Defensive Player of the Year after he helped Greenwood to a 12-1 record in 2015. Morgan followed the same path as his brother, Drew, who became an outstanding receiver at Arkansas after beginning his college career as a walk-on. Greenwood is known in Arkansas as a football town. Former Greenwood quarterback Jabe Burgess sang about it when he began his career as a singer and songwriter in Nashville. Perhaps Burgess needs to update the video and add shots of Morgan's performance against Ole Miss. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#21 ILB) rSr/2021 ILB Grant MorganArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/27/20 - Jerry JacobsrSr/2021, Arkansas, 5-11, 203 (DS#23 CB) + More +

  Cornerback Jerry Jacobs, a senior graduate transfer, has opted out of the rest of the season and is no longer on the team, University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman announced Monday. The decision came soon after Jacobs posted a short statement that read "Pray for better days" on his Twitter account. Later, Jacobs announced his intentions, writing, "First and foremost, I would like to thank Coach Pittman and the entire coaching staff for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank my teammates and the amazing Arkansas fans for welcoming me in with open arms. "After much prayer and discussion with my family, I've decided that it is best for me to opt out of my final year and declare for the NFL draft. I have worked long and hard for the opportunity to play in the NFL and believe this is the right time to pursue this goal. I'm humbled and excited to attack this next challenge."

Jacobs transferred from Arkansas State over the summer after rehabbing from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The 5-11, 203-pounder from Atlanta started the first three games this season before freshman Khari Johnson earned a starting job in that spot for Arkansas' 33-21 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 17. Jacobs registered 17 tackles, all of them solo, to rank seventh on the team through four games. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA has granted extra years of eligibility this season, so Jacobs will have one more full season of NCAA eligibility remaining. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#23 CB) rSr/2021 CB Jerry JacobsArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/23/20 - Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#1 SS) + More +

  Jalen Catalon saw nothing but green grass in front of him. Well, green grass and Matt Corral. But the redshirt freshman made quick work of the Ole Miss quarterback, slipping past his half-hearted attempt at a tackle and cruising into the end zone for a tone-setting touchdown. A native of Mansfield, Texas, Catalon returned his first career interception for a 35-yard score that put the Razorbacks up 17-0 over the Rebels early in the second quarter Saturday. For Corral, who entered Week 4 with only one pick to his name, it was his second interception in as many attempts. "We were just in a zone coverage, just reading the quarterback and he rolled out and I read his eyes," Catalon said Tuesday, recalling the sequence. "I just broke on the ball and made the play and had my eyes on the end zone and took it home from there. It was a great feeling.

"I credit my D-line because without them all the interceptions that happened that day wouldn't have happened, so credit to those guys and everybody else who did their job. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I made the play." Catalon made the play because that is what he knows to do. Razorbacks linebacker Grant Morgan labeled the safety a technician. "Linebackers have a joke about him," Morgan noted. "We call him Ironman because we always know he's going to be able to make us right if we mess up. Just be able to have that at that time of the game just shows that no matter what happened we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and we were just able to play our defense. "We kept saying the whole game who is going to be the guy to make the play? Who is going to be the guy that does their job so good that it ends up making the difference in the game?" - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#1 SS) rFr/2024 SS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/23/20 - Rakeem BoydSr/2021, Arkansas, 6-0, 206 (DS#9 RB) + More +

  These next two weeks the Razorbacks owe it to Rakeem Boyd and he owes it to himself to return to Arkansas' premier running back. Whether rest healing his injuries or practices polishing his game, or doses of both, this bye week and next week's game week appear pivotal for Boyd before Arkansas next plays Oct. 31 at Texas A&M. The senior running back can run remarkably. He was terrific for horrific 2-10 teams in 2018 and 2019. Arriving as a sophomore junior college transfer just as the 2018 preseason began, Boyd opened behind in the playbook. He finished the team's leading rusher with 729 yards on 118 carries. Last year Boyd led and netted 1,133 rushing yards with eight touchdowns on 184 carries. Boyd could have turned pro and been junior drafted. New Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman marveled watching Boyd's 2019 game film. "He can run over you, he can run around you and he can run by you," Pittman said. And run to riches in the 2021 draft off what Pittman accurately foresaw would be Razorbacks improved. "I believe that with another year he can certainly raise his value in the NFL," Pittman said during the summer. "And I believe he believes that as well." - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#9 RB) Sr/2021 RB Rakeem BoydArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/23/20 - Grant MorganrSr/2021, Arkansas, 5-11, 222 (DS#21 ILB) + More +

  Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan has picked up a pair of national player of the week honors. Fresh off a 19-tackle performance that included a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown against Ole Miss, Morgan was named the Chuck Bednarik Award national player of the week Tuesday morning. Hours later, he was selected as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy national defensive player of the week. Linebacker Bumper Pool was the first Razorback to be named the Nagurski national defensive player of the week following the Razorbacks' win at Mississippi State. Arkansas is the first two-time winner of the award in the same season since Memphis in 2017. Morgan's 19 tackles against the Rebels are the second most by an FBS player in a game this season, trailing only Pool's 20 in Week 2. The Greenwood native leads college football in tackles per game (13.0) and sits atop the SEC in total tackles with 52. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#21 ILB) rSr/2021 ILB Grant MorganArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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