The 2018 and 2019 seasons were the most forgettable in Arkansas football history.
But even in the darkness of those two campaigns, which saw a total of four wins, a few Razorbacks stood out statistically head and shoulders above the others.
On offense, that was tailback Rakeem Boyd, who racked up nearly 2,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, on defense, linebacker De’Jon “Scoota” Harris consistently finished as one of the top tacklers in the SEC and earned three straight All-SEC second team selections.
The two Razorbacks sharpened each other’s games on the practice field and bonded over shared New Orleans metro area roots. In fact, Harris was one of the first Razorbacks to welcome Boyd to campus when the latter arrived from Independence Community College in Kansas fresh off a star turn in the sports documentary “Last Chance U.”
Three years later, Harris is welcoming Boyd again — only this time it’s to the NFC North.
Harris, entering his second season with the Green Bay Packers, was happy to see Boyd sign with a free agent deal with Detroit after the 2021 NFL Draft wrapped up on Saturday.
So happy, in fact, he playfully proposed decapitating his former teammate when the Packers and Lions play this season:
Harris only played in two games last season, racking up 25 plays on special teams, but he showed enough to earn a $660,000 contract from the Packers heading into Year 2.
Harris had originally signed with the Patriots as a free agent. New England signed him to a deal that doubled the contracts of those Patriots who were drafted in later rounds, but he didn’t stick past fall camp.
“Pain ain’t never stop nothing it always kept us rolling. Im ready to get to work with the Patriots,” Harris Tweeted following the 2020 draft.
“Y’all haven’t seen nothing yet I promise! Appreciate all my supporters.”
Rakeem Boyd showed similar resolve after he went undrafted on Saturday:
How, exactly, he’s going to make them pay after a thoroughly underwhelming 2020 season is yet to be seen.
“Rakeem Boyd should have come out a year ago,” Pig Trail Nation’s Mike Irwin said after the draft.
“I know fans always want the guy to come back and you have a new coaching staff come in. And Sam Pittman made the appeal to him, and he let emotion get the better of him.”
“I really think if he’d come out a year ago, he’d have been at least a mid-round pick. So he made a mistake and he’s paying for it a little bit, but on the other hand… he’ll get his shot.”
As far as Boyd being one of a few Razorbacks who went undrafted (Jonathan Marshall was the only Hog selected), Irwin said:
“I think what we’re seeing is the effects of the last maybe two years under Bret Bielema and the two years under Chad Morris.”
“The recruiting was in the tank, it wasn’t good.”
This draft, in which a UCA player was drafted higher than any Razorback, is the result of the lack of talent.
Rakeem Boyd Talks about the NFL
A day before the NFL Draft began, Boyd discussed his NFL hopes with Pig Trail Nation’s Nick Petraccione.
When asked what the team that gets Boyd will receive, Boyd said: “I’m ready to play anytime, morning, night, evening, Thanksgiving. It don’t matter, Christmas. COVID. You know what I’m saying?”
“They’re going to get a guy that’s just ready to go, just anxious to be on the field.”
Boyd added COVID-19 contact tracing was a big reason he opted out late last season.
“Some people didn’t know my roommate had COVID and when I’m in the same house as him, so you had to sit out because I guess I was close to him or something like that. And so they said, not positive, close … I don’t know, something like that. Being close with him, he’s my roommate. But he had tested positive and I had tested negative. And so, therefore, for me it caused missed games.”
Despite a nagging injury, Boyd was already in pretty good shape after the season, so there was no needing to figure out how to lose weight in the offseason for the former Razorback star.
He’s confident he can get it done in the NFL, starting this season.
“I hope I keep writing my story so I get to tell it more to my family members and kids,” he said.
“Man, it’s going to be a good story to tell — I ain’t got no kids or nothing, I’m saying later.”