Injuries Force Pittman’s Hand When It Comes to Depth Chart Rule Entering Spring Ball

Lorando Johnson, Sam Pittman, Arkansas football
photo credit: Baylor Athletics / Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — The first Arkansas football practice of the spring is in the books.

Rainy weather forced the Razorbacks inside the Walker Pavilion for the first day of spring drills and they were in shorts and helmets, so it wasn’t a physical practice by any means, but it sounds as though Sam Pittman was pleased with what he saw on Thursday from his new-look team.

“I thought it was a good practice to open up,” Pittman said. “We started the practice a little bit slow in our fastball starts, but we picked it up after that. I thought we made a lot of plays out there and had a good, solid two-hour practice.”

When asked about specific players who flashed on Day 1, the Arkansas football coach spoke broadly about the offense, but did single out wide receiver Jaedon Wilson for the second time this week.

(READ NEXT: Arkansas’ 6 Biggest Questions Entering Spring Ball)

Defensively, linebacker Chris Paul Jr. has “taken more of a leadership role,” Pittman said, while also giving some love to defensive end Nico Davillier and defensive backs Jaylen Lewis and Lorando Johnson, the latter of whom is a transfer from Baylor.

Johnson is one of 22 midyear enrollees for the Razorbacks — a number that includes 10 transfer portal additions and 12 traditional high school signees. Throw in 16 new walk-ons, which were either recruited as preferred walk-ons or made the team through the walk-on tryout earlier this month, and there were quite a few new faces at Thursday’s practice.

“I thought it went really smooth,” Pittman said. “It was kind of exciting to go around and see, kind of like Christmas, to go around and see what kind of present you had out there on the football field.”

The first hour or so of practice was open to the media. Best of Arkansas Sports was there and did our best to take in as much as possible, with the most notable thing we got being the three-deep depth chart listed below from a brief team period early in the practice.

**However, it’s worth noting that Pittman tends to favor returning players early in spring ball, forcing newcomers to climb the depth chart and earn their spots, so don’t be alarmed if certain transfers or freshmen are listed with the second or third team right now.**

Arkansas Football Depth Chart — Day 1 of Spring


QBKJ JeffersonCade FortinJacolby Criswell
Malachi Singleton
RBRocket SandersAJ GreenRashod Dubinion
TENathan BaxTy WashingtonLuke Hasz
WRSam MbakeIsaac TeSlaaLandon Rogers
WRBryce StephensIsaiah SategnaChris Harris*
WRJaedon WilsonAndrew ArmstrongTyrone Broden
LTDevon ManuelTerry WellsTommy Varhall*
LGBrady LathamPatrick KutasParis Patterson
CBeaux LimmerJosh Street*Brooks Edmonson*
RGE’Marion HarrisJosh BraunJoey Su’a
RTTy’Kieast CrawfordAndrew ChambleeCole Carson


  • During a brief team period, Criswell took the first couple of snaps with the third-team offense and then Singleton subbed in and took the next couple.
  • Again, it’s not surprising to see the three transfer wide receivers running second and third team, as that is almost always the case with new players under Sam Pittman.
  • Devon Manuel and E’Marion Harris are obviously slimmer than they were last year. Manuel, in particular, looks like a completely different person.
  • The offensive line will likely change throughout the spring as Arkansas tries to figure out its best five-man combination. Latham could get a look at left tackle, Crawford could get a look at right guard and several others could move around. “We’re going to go through these 15 trying to have different scenarios up front to see how we can move the ball the best with what five guys at what five positions,” Pittman said. “That’s not unusual. … Beside maybe Ricky (Stromberg) and Dalton (Wagner), we’ve done that for the most part each and every year.”
DELandon JacksonZach WilliamsJohn Morgan III
DTCameron BallTaurean CarterJJ Hollingsworth
DTEric GregoryMarcus MillerKyle Thompson*
DEJashaud StewartNico DavillierTrajan Jeffcoat
LBChris Paul Jr.Mani PowellCarson Dean
Brooks Both*
LBJordan CrookAntonio GrierKaden Henley
Brad Spence
NBJaylen LewisCourtney Snelling*Dallas Young
CBDwight McGlothernLandon Phipps*
SHudson ClarkMalik ChavisRJ Johnson
SJayden JohnsonTJ MetcalfDylan Hasz
CBLorando JohnsonJaylon Braxton


  • Johnson is listed on first team despite being a newcomer because the secondary was pretty light in numbers. Quincey McAdoo (who likely would have been listed on first team instead), LaDarrius Bishop and Alfahiym Walcott are out with injuries, plus transfer Jaheim Singletary and freshman signee Christian Ford won’t arrive on campus until this summer. This is why walk-ons like Snelling and Phipps are listed on the second unit.
  • The third team corners included a rotation of guys from the first and second units, including McGlothern, Phipps and Braxton. Clark, even though he’s a full-time safety now, even got some reps as a third-team corner.
  • Those injuries are why Johnson got reps with the first unit despite being a transfer. All of the other newcomers were with the second and third units, as expected.
  • Pittman mentioned that Nico Davillier was in contention for playing time at the Jack position, the versatile pass-rushing defensive end spot, so it wasn’t much of a surprise, but the sophomore was working at defensive end instead of defensive tackle.

Arkansas Football Injury Report

Here’s a rundown of several Arkansas football players currently dealing with injuries…

  • LB Carson Dean (undisclosed): Got “rolled up” at practice and didn’t return, but was jogging around, so Pittman said he’d be fine
  • DB Quincey McAdoo (undisclosed): Pittman expects him to return after spring break, which means he’d miss the first five practices of spring ball
  • DB LaDarrius Bishop (knee): Also expected to return after spring break, meaning he’ll miss the first five practices of spring ball
  • RB Dominique Johnson (ACL): Won’t be ready until after spring ball, but Arkansas has been optimistic that he’ll be ready to go for fall camp
  • QB Kade Renfro (ACL): Was able to throw routes at practice, but still recovering from a second torn ACL suffered early last season
  • DB Alfahiym Walcott (undisclosed): Won’t be cleared until this summer, should be good to go for fall camp
  • OL Luke Brown (undisclosed): Won’t be cleared until this summer, should be good to go for fall camp

New Walk-Ons Going Through Spring Ball

*preferred walk-on

  • RB Preston Crawford — Bentonville (Ark.)
  • RB Jezreel Bachert — Big Sandy (Texas)
  • *LS Ashton Ngo — Andover (Kan.) / Hutchinson C.C.
  • DB Jace Petty — Frisco (Texas) Independence
  • *P Devin Bale — La Jolla (Calif.) / Northern Colorado
  • DB Devoncy Maloy — Prosper (Texas)
  • *K Alex Hurtz — Lake Hamilton (Ark.)
  • DB Sladen Webb — Marion (Ark.)
  • DB Aidan McCowan — Frisco (Texas) Independence
  • *P Owen Lawson — Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst / Coffeyville C.C.
  • *OL Tommy Varhall — Overland Park, Kan. (IMG Academy) / Maryland
  • WR Reid Touchstone — Flower Mound (Texas)
  • WR Ivan Thomas — Little Rock (Ark.) Joe T. Robinson
  • *WR Marlon Crockett — Searcy, Ark. (Cabot HS) / Memphis
  • TE AJ Matthews — Greenbrier (Ark.)
  • DL Richard Jameson — Texarkana, Ark. (Genoa Central HS)

Highlights from Day 1 of Spring Ball

YouTube video

Check out what Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman had to say after Day 1 of spring ball:

YouTube video


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