Who is gone, back and new in 2022?
With transfers, extra years of eligibility, redshirts and recruiting classes, keeping track of who’s gone and who’s back in college football is confusing.
Arkansas has had more than a dozen player transfers since the end of the season and a handful of declarations for the NFL Draft, not to mention those who forgo an extra year of eligibility or simply end their careers.
Here’s a position-by-position look at who’s gone, who’ll be back and who’ll be new for Arkansas in 2022.
Who has left : Redshirt junior John Stephen Jones, grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, was honored on senior day and would no longer be on the team. He appeared in seven total games over four seasons. Redshirt freshman and Ole Miss transfer Kade Renfro tore his ACL during bowl practices in December, and while he remains with the team he will recover from a surgery, which can take nine months.
Who’s back: KJ Jefferson is the undisputed starter. He will be in his redshirt junior year in 2022, which means he will still have three years of eligibility thanks to the extra year the NCAA has granted athletes due to the pandemic. Malik Hornsby, his replacement, will also return after entering the transfer portal and removing his name a week later. Freshman Lucas Coley will also be back.
Who is new: Transfer from South Florida Cade Fortin is a walk-on.
Who has left : Trelon Smith, who started this season as a starter before Raheim Sanders and Dominique Johnson got bigger roles, shared an Instagram post shortly after the Outback Bowl stating he would not be returning for his final year. On January 19, Sanders entered the transfer portal.
TJ Hammonds, a sixth-year senior, won’t be returning either. Most of Hammonds’ playing time came during the 2017 season, when he rushed for 262 yards in nine games.
Who’s back: Johnson and Sanders will likely anchor the rushing attack. Sanders was a freshman this season and Johnson a sophomore. Sanders finished behind Jefferson and Smith as the team’s third leading rusher with 578 yards. Johnson, who started six games, was behind him with 575 on 97 carries.
Freshmen AJ Green, a four-star rookie who appeared in 12 games, and Javion Hunt and redshirt sophomore Reid Turner also return.
Who is new: A signed running back in the class of 2022, three-star James Jointer of Parkview Magnet in Little Rock. He was the No. 5 player in the state according to 247Sports Composite. Three-star Rashad Dubinion of Cedar Grove in Ellenwood, Georgia, mostly played in high school but could play elsewhere.
Who has left : Treylon Burks entering the NFL Draft leaves behind a big void to fill. De’Vion Warren and Tyson Morris, the team’s second wide receiver, helped fill that gap in the Outback Bowl, but both are not eligible. Kendall Catalon reserves. Darin Turner and John David White have all entered the transfer portal.
Who’s back: The most experienced returner is Warren Thompson, whose 304 yards on 19 receptions was third-most for the Razorbacks. Ketron Jackson Jr., Jaquayln Crawford and Bryce Stephens all had less than 10 takes. Freshman Jaedon Wilson and redshirt freshman Chris Harris did not play, and Harper Cole appeared in five games without a catch.
Who is new: Arkansas added an impressive number of receivers to its 2022 class, as well as transfer from Oklahoma Jadon Haselwood. Haselwood, who will be a junior, was a five-star rookie and the No. 1 receiver for the Class of 2019. He played in 12 games for the Sooners in 2021, totaling 399 yards on 39 receptions.
Arkansas signed four-stars Isaiah Sategna and Quincy McAdoo and three-star Samuel M’Bake. All three could become major contributors in the near future.
Who has left : The only tight end to leave is the most experienced: sixth-year senior Blake Kern. Kern has started all 13 games in 2021 and has appeared in every game for the past three seasons.
Who’s back: Hudson Henry was second on the depth chart behind Kern for most of the year before Trey Knox switched from receiver to tight end and took second place for the last three games. Nathan Bax and Landon Rogers are the only other returnees with gaming experience.
Who is new: Arkansas signed a pair of three-stars Dax Courtney and Tyrus Washington, but with Henry, Knox and other veteran players returning, it seems unlikely they’ll play anytime soon.
Who has left : Seniors Ty Clary, Myron Cunningham and Shane Clenin will not return. Cunningham was a three-year starter, and Clary started for much of 2019 and 2020 with a few starts in 2021. Redshirt rookie Ray Curry Jr. was traded to Alabama A&M.
Who’s back: Arkansas retains most of its starting offensive linemen with Dalton Wagner, Ricky Stromberg, Beaux Limmer and Brady Latham all returning. Redshirt junior Luke Jones was behind Cunningham on the depth chart and looks a strong candidate to replace him. Reserves Ty’Kieast Crawford, Austin Nix and seven other linemen will also return.
Who is new: Four stars Andrew Chamblee and E’Marion Harris are the second and third highest rated players in Arkansas’ recruiting class. Three-star Patrick Kutas and Eli Henderson round out Pittman’s lineman lineup.
Who has left : Arkansas’ leading passing thrower, Tre Williams, has declared for the NFL Draft. Defensive tackle John Ridgeway did too, and fellow starting tackle Markell Utsey won’t be coming back. Solomon Wright, Andy Boykin and Jalen Williams have all decided to transfer.
Who’s back: Sophomore Jashaud Stewart replaced Tre Williams on defense in the Outback Bowl and will be back. Zach Williams could also play a starting role, having started at jack in the bowl. Eric Gregory was behind Utsey on the depth chart. Other notable returns to watch include junior Mataio Soli, second Eric Thomas Jr. and redshirt senior Isaiah Nichols.
Who is new: LSU transfer Landon Jackson has been a major boon to Arkansas this offseason. The former four-star rookie played five games before suffering an injury. Three-star JJ Hollingsworth and Nico Davillier will join the team as freshmen.
Who has left : The linebacker position will be among the most interesting to watch next season, as starters Grant Morgan and Hayden Henry will not return. Both were among the team’s top three tacklers, and Henry led the Razorbacks in tackles for loss with 12.
Andrew Parker has been looking to earn more playing time, having been behind Morgan on the depth chart and appearing in 12 games, but entered the transfer gate on January 20. JT Towers and Chandler McIntosh also left through the portal, and Deon Edwards is not eligible. .
Who’s back: Arkansas returns a total of 10 linebackers, including Bumper Pool. Pool was the team leader in tackles with 125 and brings much-needed experience and leadership to the linebacking corps.
Who is new: Alabama transfer Drew Sanders will add experience to Arkansas’ roster. The sophomore started three games and played in 12. Fayetteville-born Texas product Jordan Crook and Shiloh Christian alum Kaden Henley are the three three-star Arkansas signed.
Who has left : Arkansas lost a trio of starters in the secondary. Safety Joe Foucha and nickelback Greg Brooks Jr. both moved to LSU, while safety Montaric Brown declared for the NFL Draft. Nick Turner, Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan and Devin Bush also entered the transfer portal.
Who’s back: Safety Jalen Catalon is the biggest name returning for his fourth year. Catalon was a starter and had 46 tackles and two interceptions in six games before suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. Starting safety Myles Slusher will also return, as will notable reserves Malik Chavis, Simeon Blair LaDarrius Bishop, Hudson Clark and Jayden Johnson along with nine others.
Who is new: LSU transfer Dwight McGlothern will enter the mix. He has played in nine games this season, totaling 32 tackles and one interception for 37 yards for a touchdown against Florida. Three-star prospects Anthony Brown and Jaylen Lewis will join the Class of 2022.
Who has left : Longtime snapper Jordan Silver, a four-year-old starter, has ended his career, as has reserve punter Sam Loy. Relief kicker Vito Calvaruso has been transferred to Wisconsin.
Who’s back: Freshman Cam Little, who has become something of a cult hero this season, will return, as will punter Reid Bauer. Bauer won the Mortell Award for the nation’s top keeper and had a heroic jump pass on a fake punt for a touchdown against Alabama. Patrick Foley returns as reserve punter, and Francisco Castro and John Oerhlein return as long snappers.
Who is new: Wisconsin product Eli Stein will join the specialists as the third long snapper from Arkansas.