Barely a month after announcing his return to Arkansas football, Jordan Domineck has apparently changed his mind and will use his final year of college football elsewhere.
After beginning his career at Georgia Tech, the defensive end was a key player for the Razorbacks this season and figured to be a building block for next year’s defense, but has instead entered the transfer portal for a second time.
Because this isn’t his first time transferring and he has only one of year of eligibility remaining — his super senior season, granted to all players active during the pandemic-altered 2020 season — Domineck will presumably receive a waiver to play immediately in 2023.
He is the 24th scholarship player from Arkansas to enter the portal since August, which is among the most in the FBS this cycle. As of last Tuesday, Texas A&M led the country with 24 departures, so the Razorbacks have matched that total.
Three of those players have left the Arkansas football program since the Liberty Bowl win over Kansas, as Domineck follows a pair of former walk-ons — safety Simeon Blair and linebacker Jackson Woodard.
Jordan Domineck with the Razorbacks
Even though he didn’t start a single game this season, Jordan Domineck was a significant contributor on an Arkansas defense that got after opposing quarterbacks better than ever despite struggling to keep its opponents from moving the ball.
The Razorbacks gave up 465.2 yards per game this year, the most in school history, but also racked up a school-record 42 sacks.
Domineck was a major reason for that, as he finished second on the team with 7.5 sacks — a total that also tied for third in the SEC behind Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. (10) and teammate Drew Sanders (9.5).
He also had 34 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while playing 316 defensive snaps off the bench in 13 games. According to Pro Football Focus, Domineck generated the third-most pressures on the team with 21, which earned him a 76.3 grade — the fifth-highest on the team.
It wasn’t officially credited to him, but Domineck was also responsible for the Razorbacks’ first safety since 2015 when he forced Spencer Rattler into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone near the end of their win over South Carolina.
What it Means for Arkansas Football
Luckily for the Razorbacks, they got a surprise signing from Pittsburgh transfer defensive end John Morgan III, who has been a productive pass rusher in the ACC the last few years.
Following his official visit, Morgan told reporters that the coaching staff sold him on playing the “jack” — a hybrid defensive end/linebacker who’s generally a pass-rush specialist. It was presumed that Jordan Domineck would also fit that position, which will apparently have a larger role in new defensive coordinator Travis Williams’ system.
After all, head coach Sam Pittman described Williams’ play calling as “ultra aggressive” and “intimidating.” He used quite a bit of man-to-man coverage at UCF, which puts a premium on getting after the passer.
Even though the Razorbacks broke a school record previously set in 1998 with 42 sacks this season, they have to replace their top two pass rushers. Drew Sanders has declared for the NFL Draft and now Domineck has entered the portal. They combined for 17 sacks.
Throw in other departures and Arkansas is losing players that accounted for exactly half of their sacks this season — and that assumes Zach Williams returns.
A potential super senior and Little Rock native, Williams finished third on the team with 4.5 sacks, doubling his career total entering the season. He has yet to announce his plans for 2023, but the departure of Domineck puts even more importance on his return.
In addition to adding Morgan and the possibility of getting Williams back, the Razorbacks are set to have Landon Jackson, Eric Gregory and Jashaud Stewart back after they started multiple games this season, as well.
It’s also worth noting that Arkansas will be able to replace Domineck via the transfer portal thanks to the NCAA temporarily lifting the annual restrictions on the number of new players a team can sign. The previous limit was 25, but now there is none.
That means the Razorbacks, who have already signed 19 high school prospects and five transfers, can fill out their roster with more transfers. That’s a good thing because Domineck’s departure brings them down to 72 players on scholarship, according to Best of Arkansas Sports’ projections.
That’s assuming the return of Williams, tight end Nathan Bax and defensive back LaDarrius Bishop — all of whom are super seniors who’ve yet to announce their plans. In that scenario, Arkansas can add another 13 players from the portal to get it to the 85-man limit.
Arkansas Football Players in the Transfer Portal
The Razorbacks are up to 24 total scholarship players who have entered the transfer portal since fall camp in August. Here’s a list of those players and where they’ve landed so far:
- P Reid Bauer — Memphis
- S Simeon Blair
- S Jalen Catalon
- WR Jaquayln Crawford
- DE Jordan Domineck
- OL Marcus Henderson
- QB Malik Hornsby
- RB Javion Hunt
- WR Ketron Jackson Jr. — Baylor
- DB Khari Johnson — Boston College
- RB James Jointer Jr. — Liberty
- TE Trey Knox — South Carolina
- DT Taylor Lewis
- DB Chase Lowery
- DT Isaiah Nichols
- TE Erin Outley
- CB Keuan Parker — New Mexico State
- DB Myles Slusher — Louisville
- OL Jalen St. John
- DE Eric Thomas Jr. — Southern Miss
- WR Warren Thompson
- DB Jacorrei Turner
- LB Jackson Woodard
- DB Zach Zimos — Louisiana Tech
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