One of 9 New Hogs Caught from Arkansas Native QBs at Previous Stops

Jacolby Criswell, Khafre Brown, Arkansas football, transfer portal
photo credit: Craven Whitlow / USF Athletics

After catching passes from a pair of Arkansans at his last two stops, Khafre Brown will have an opportunity to end his career by pulling in passes for Arkansas.

Now a sixth-year super senior, the veteran wide receiver flipped his commitment to the Razorbacks on Monday. He originally announced he’d use his extra year of eligibility at Charlotte.

Brown began his career with three seasons at North Carolina before transferring to South Florida, where he spent the last two seasons. At those schools, he played with two former four-star quarterbacks from Arkansas: Morrilton native Jacolby Criswell, who spent last season with the Razorbacks before boomeranging back to North Carolina, and Earle native Gerry Bohanon, who began his career at Baylor.

They might not have had many in-game connections, but it’s safe to presume that Brown at least caught passes thrown by the two Natural State products in practice.

Regardless of who was throwing the ball in actual games, Brown has been a somewhat productive receiver in college, catching 47 passes for 908 yards and eight touchdowns over the last four seasons combined. Most of that came in his redshirt freshman year at North Carolina (15 rec., 337 yds., 2 TD) and senior year at South Florida (27 rec., 435 yds., 5 TD), as he dealt with injuries in between.

Listed at 6-foot-0, 185 pounds, Brown was a four-star, top-250 recruit coming out of high school in 2019 and is known for his speed. With his size and skillset, he likely projects as a slot receiver at Arkansas in the same mold as Isaiah Sategna, Jordan Anthony and Bryce Stephens.

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It would be surprising if he came in and beat out Sategna for the starting job, but it isn’t unrealistic to think he could earn the backup job ahead of Anthony and Stephens. Anthony is a transfer himself, following Bobby Petrino from Texas A&M to Fayetteville, and has legitimate track speed. Still, he hasn’t shown the consistency catching the ball to be considered a lock to crack the two-deep depth chart.

That’s the story for most of the players Arkansas has added from the transfer portal this spring, as it fills out its roster with quality depth. Most of the projected high-impact transfers arrived via the portal during the winter window and went through spring ball.

Here’s a rundown of the other seven Razorbacks who’ve committed over the past month…

Arkansas Football Spring Transfer Portal Additions

DT Danny Saili — BYU

You won’t find any statistics for Danny Saili at BYU because he was there for only one semester before hitting the transfer portal this spring. Prior to joining the Cougars, he was a high three-star JUCO recruit, ranked No. 13 nationally at that level by 247Sports. Texas Tech initially landed his commitment, but Saili flipped late in the process.

According to reports out of Provo, he was likely going to be in BYU’s two-deep and could have challenged for a starting job. The key was going to be getting into shape, as he checked in at 370 pounds. Assuming he can get that under control in Fayetteville, Saili has a chance to be in the Razorbacks’ two-deep, as well.

Cam Ball is essentially a lock to start at one of the defensive tackle spots after a strong spring, with veterans Eric Gregory and Keivie Rose vying for that second spot. Beyond them, it was pretty thin at the position. The coaches are high on Ian Geffrard, but he’s still losing weight and just a redshirt freshman. Adding a more experienced player, even in the JUCO ranks, is big for Arkansas’ interior defensive line depth — and it could probably still stand to add another.

QB Blake Boda — Coastal Carolina

Recruited by Bobby Petrino at both Missouri State and UNLV, Blake Boda will finally have an opportunity to play for the offensive genius after spending one year at Coastal Carolina, where he played just 13 snaps and completed his lone pass for 14 yards as a freshman.

His addition wasn’t met with much fanfare, but that’s okay because he’s not expected to come in and compete for the starting job. In fact, Boda may be the fourth-team quarterback when it’s all set and done. It was still important for the Razorbacks to bring him in, though, because it once again gives them four scholarship quarterbacks. He filled the spot vacated by Jacolby Criswell, essentially completing a three-way trade.

LB Stephen Dix Jr. — Marshall

A four-star recruit, Stephen Dix Jr. burst onto the scene as a true freshman at Florida State in 2020. He appeared in every game and was even a starter the second half of the season, finishing third on the team in tackles and earning Freshman All-America honors from Rivals.

Unfortunately, he never really built on that season. Dix was a rotational linebacker who played sparingly in 2021 and then missed the entire 2022 season with an undisclosed injury. Projected to be buried on the depth chart again, he entered the portal and landed at Marshall. Playing in the Sun Belt, Dix evolved into a starter and finished the year with 67 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 2 sacks, earning him an impressive 80.7 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Obviously the SEC is a step up from the Sun Belt, but considering his past success in the ACC and the fact he was able to get on the field and be productive coming off an injury, this appears to be a really solid addition to a linebacker room severely lacking in experience. The coaching staff believes there is plenty of talent at that position, but — with the exception of Georgia transfer Xavian Sorey Jr. — they’re all young, so Dix should have a shot to compete for a spot in the rotation alongside the likes of Sorey, Brad Spence, Alex Sanford and Carson Dean.

OL Joe More — Syracuse

Even though the Razorbacks came out of spring ball feeling good about their starting offensive line, depth was a serious concern — both from a second-team production standpoint and an overall numbers standpoint. Even though every offensive lineman on last year’s roster had remaining eligibility, four hit the transfer portal, two entered the NFL Draft, two medically retired and one graduated early.

Arkansas replaced those nine departures with two high school signees and three midyear transfers, giving it a net loss of four scholarship players at the position. That’s why it was a definite position of need, even before the second unit struggled in the spring.

Joe More is a step toward building the depth back up, but the seventh-year super senior is a temporary fix. He spent five years at FCS Richmond before transferring to Syracuse, where he was limited to 29 snaps in three games last year because of injuries. Primarily a right tackle with the Spiders, most of More’s snaps with the Orange were at right guard.

DB Anthony Switzer — Utah State

A two-star recruit coming out of Marion High School in the Class of 2019, Anthony Switzer initially stayed in the state by signing with Arkansas State. He spent three seasons with the Red Wolves, even starting 15 games, before hitting the transfer portal and joining his former head coach, Blake Anderson, at Utah State.

Switzer missed the entire 2022 season because of an injury, but was back in action last year and earned honorable mention All-MWC honors by finishing with 85 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 pass breakups and an interception. That earned him a solid 66.5 grade from Pro Football Focus.

It’s always cool when an in-state player gets the opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing for the Razorbacks, plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s from the same high school where prized recruit and recent Arkansas de-commit Carius Curne goes, but adding Switzer is also important because he’s a versatile defensive piece, as he was a linebacker at Utah State and a safety at Arkansas State. 

At Arkansas, he’s expected to be a nickel back — an area it needs help at because of the loss of Snaxx Johnson to the portal. Tennessee transfer Doneiko Slaughter is still the projected starter, but Switzer gives the Razorbacks a veteran backup option instead of having to rely on a young player with limited or no experience.

LB Larry Worth — Jacksonville State

Yet another transfer who began his college career in the FCS, Larry Worth jumped up to the FBS level last season when Jacksonville State joined Conference USA. He had a solid sophomore campaign against the tougher competition, finishing with 63 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 pass breakups and an interception. That came mostly as a role player, starting only five games and earning a 69.2 PFF grade on 470 snaps.

According to Pro Football Focus, though, Worth generated 16 total pressures in limited opportunities. He was also able to drop back in pass coverage. Similar to Switzer, he appears to be a versatile piece who could play traditional linebacker, rush the passer or even play some nickel — a role he was expected to have at Jacksonville State.

RB Rodney Hill — Florida A&M

A four-star recruit on ESPN and high-three star prospect elsewhere, Rodney Hill signed with Florida State out of high school and spent two seasons with the Seminoles. He didn’t play a ton, getting only 154 offensive snaps over that span, but still managed to run for 334 yards and two touchdowns on 77 carries. He also caught five passes for 83 yards last year.

Arkansas pursued Hill when he entered the transfer portal following last season, but ultimately decided to drop down to the FCS level and go to Florida A&M. That lasted less than a semester, though, because Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons left to become the running backs coach at Duke and he hit the portal again in the spring.

Given a second chance, the Razorbacks reeled him in this time. It was an important add, too, because Isaiah Augustave and Dominique Johnson each hit the transfer portal following spring ball. What was once a very deep running back room was suddenly left with only Ja’Quinden Jackson, Rashod Dubinion and Braylen Russell. Even if he doesn’t immediately push for playing time, Hill at least gave them four scholarship running backs — necessary depth in the grueling SEC. (Arkansas has since added JUCO running back Tyrell Reed, as well.)


Check out this interesting interview with Dubinion for more insight into the RB room:

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More coverage of Arkansas football and the transfer portal from BoAS… 

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