Arkansas has not had a better combination of linebackers like the two they will return from last season in Dre Greenlaw and De’Jon Scoota” Harris. Both linebackers were two of the top three tacklers in the SEC last season. Harris had over 100 tackles last season, displaying his readiness as a linebacker tackling machine as just a sophomore last season.
This season, Arkansas needs to find a third linebacker and Nickel-back for certain situations. Instead of breaking down the two we already know about. I will be breaking down the best options for the third linebacker position.
The sixth year senior out of Jacksonville, AR earned an extra year of eligibility with the addition of the new NCAA rule. Richardson has 109 career tackles and 4 interceptions. The Arkansas defense under first year coordinator, John Chavis, was given a huge boost of experience with the granted request of a medical redshirt for Richardson. He has had many key plays and two of those came against Ole Miss in 2015 and 2017. His 2015 interception gave Arkansas a chance to tie the ball game, down seven. In 2017, his recovered fumble was returned for a touchdown to turn the momentum to Arkansas. Ultimately winning the game 39-38.
Younger brother of Mackey Award Winner, Hunter Henry, the middle child looked atheletic, quick to the Balkan’s a sure tackler. Those are three things this Arkansas defense needs more of in 2018. In post practice interviews, Henry has been mentioned due to his impressive play in practice. Look for Henry to make a move up the depth chart to start in 2018.
The younger brother of Drew Morgan, he looks to further his role and burst into the third starting linebacker spot. At times in 2017, Morgan was a sure tackler and made quite a few plays behind the line of scrimmage. His 2017 stars were 38 total tackles, 3 for a loss, 1 sack and a forced fumble. Like his older brother, he will give his best effort every play to make something happen. Look for the younger Morgan to make a competition at linebacker with Henry.
The high three star linebacker out of Louisiana has yet to make any meaningful impact on the Arkansas defense yet. The recruiting gurus surely can not be wrong on another highly rated three star player can they?
As I said above, Jean-Baptiste is another high three star linebacker out of Louisiana. Former Razorback Head Coach, Bret Bielema, waited on this him to contribute but has yet to do so besides special teams opportunities. The rising sophomore should bring more to the table in 2018 or it will be another missed evaluation on the behalf of the last staff.
Newcomers: Deveon, Andrew Parker and Bumper Pool
Who will be the third linebacker?
*We did learn Hayden Henry took a step forward in the first two practices this past week. Henry took first team reps at the third linebacker spot.