Future Hog Performances: Sealing Win vs Nation’s No. 9 Team, D-Lineman Goes Bonkers + More

Tay Lockett, Charleston Collins, Arkansas football, Arkansas recruiting
photo credit: ESPN2 / Twitter

In his first game since re-committing to Arkansas football, Braylen Russell did everything in his power to lead his team to an upset win in arguably the state’s biggest rivalry game Saturday night.

The Benton running back fought through an ankle injury before sitting out the second half of the Panthers’ 35-6 loss to Bryant in the Salt Bowl at War Memorial Stadium.

It was a 7-6 game at halftime, with Russell almost single-handedly keeping Benton in it. He racked up 79 yards on 21 carries and caught two passes for 28 yards, giving him 107 yards of offense despite playing with a noticeable limp.

One of his receptions was a 9-yard touchdown that should have tied it up with 45 seconds left in the half, but the Panthers missed the ensuing PAT.

Without Russell, Benton hung around for another quarter, trailing just 14-6 through three quarters, but gave up 21 points in the fourth to make it seem like more of a blowout than it actually was.

Afterward, Benton head coach Brad Harris told SBLive that Russell had a high ankle sprain and was asking to be put back in when the backup running back also got hurt.

“We didn’t want to do that to him,” Harris said. “He has a bright future.”

The hope is that he’ll be able to heal up before Benton’s next game in two weeks. Health was an issue for Russell all of last season, too, as he played through a turf toe and foot injury. That said, he still managed to run for 1,685 yards and 26 touchdowns.

As for the “bright future” his coach referred to, Russell is a prized four-star recruit for the Razorbacks, who originally landed his commitment during his sophomore year. He backed off that pledge about a year later, only to re-commit this summer.

Ranked as high as No. 228 nationally by ESPN in the 2024 class, the heralded running back chose Arkansas over a slew of offers, with South Carolina and Tennessee being his other finalists.

Newest Arkansas Commit Shines on National TV

The Razorbacks actually had a pair of commitments in action Saturday, with the other being their latest pledge.

Just two days after announcing his decision, defensive back Tay Lockett came down with an interception that helped St. John Bosco ice a 20-7 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in a battle between nationally ranked high school powerhouses that was televised on ESPN2.

The Braves, which came into the game ranked No. 3 by MaxPreps and are based in Bellflower, Calif., had just scored a touchdown to push their lead to 17-7 early in the fourth quarter when Lockett jumped in front of a pass around the 20-yard line.

That set up a time-consuming drive that ended with a field goal, essentially finishing off the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., school on its home field.

Lockett is just a sophomore and was Arkansas’ first commitment in the 2026 class. In fact, he is the earliest commitment the Razorbacks have received in at least 26 classes and is one of only 10 sophomores across the country already pledged to a college.

It’s certainly deserved, as he is coming off a monster season that earned him Freshman All-America honors from MaxPreps. He’s developed a reputation as a ballhawk, with seven interceptions as a freshman.

CJ Brown Puts Up Huge Numbers

It didn’t take long for CJ Brown to make his presence known as a senior.

The Arkansas wide receiver commit hauled in a 57-yard touchdown barely two minutes into Bentonville’s 41-0 season-opening win at Broken Arrow, Okla.

He wasn’t done there, either. Brown also scored on a 68-yard reception just before the end of the first quarter. Throw in another 27-yard catch and he had 152 yards in the first quarter alone.

Although he caught just one 8-yard pass the rest of the game, Brown added one more highlight on the first play of the second half. The Tigers dialed up a reverse pass and it resulted in him throwing a 62-yard touchdown that made it 34-0.

Brown finished with 222 yards of offense – 160 on four receptions and the 62-yard touchdown pass – and is well on his way to matching his numbers from last year, when he caught 75 passes for 1,384 yards and 16 touchdowns.

A high three-star recruit on 247Sports and On3, Brown committed to Arkansas in June over offers from the likes of Kansas State, Louisville, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt.

Jadan Baugh Does it All

He’s committed to Arkansas football as a running back, but there’s a reason Jadan Baugh is listed as an “athlete” on all of the recruiting services.

The four-star prospect literally does a bit of everything for Columbia High School in Decatur, Ga., and that was on display once again Friday night.

In the Eagles’ 35-0 shellacking of Woodland High, a school two classifications larger than them, Baugh ran the ball four times for 31 yards and a touchdown, plus caught a 20-yard pass.

On top of the 51 yards of offense, he also made five tackles and intercepted a pass that he turned into a pick-six by returning it for another score. As if that wasn’t enough, Baugh made 3 of 5 PATs, as well, according to MaxPreps.

This do-it-all performance came after another one in a losing effort in his season-opener a week earlier. In that 23-12 loss to Camden County High, which is five classifications larger than Columbia, Baugh completed 6 of 15 passes for 80 yards, ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, made four tackles and had a 15-yard kickoff return.

Other Arkansas Recruiting Nuggets

  • Four-star defensive end commit Charleston Collins had a huge game in Little Rock Mills’ 34-14 win over Blytheville. He made 13 tackles, including sacks, in just three quarters of play.
  • Pine Bluff lost to Grenada, Miss., 30-7 on Friday, but those seven points came courtesy of an 8-yard touchdown catch by four-star wide receiver commit Courtney Crutchfield.
  • Heralded sophomore quarterback Kane Archer – a Class of 2026 target – made his first career varsity start Friday night and led Greenwood to a dominant 49-21 over defending Oklahoma Class 6A-II state champion Stillwater. He completed 23 of 31 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns, plus added another 47 yards on nine carries.
  • He didn’t have to do much, but four-star quarterback commit KJ Jackson made a few big plays to help St. James to an easy 49-13 win over Montgomery Academy on Friday. He completed 4 of 6 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown – a 77-yard strike – and also ran for 62 yards and a pair of scores on just six carries.


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