2020 Arkansas Razorbacks Fall Camp Preview: Defensive Tackle - Jonathan Marshall, Xavier Kelly, Isaiah Nichols
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2020 Arkansas Camp Preview: Defensive Tackle

Jonathan Marshall could be poised for a breakout season as a fifth-year senior.
Jonathan Marshall could be poised for a breakout season as a fifth-year senior. (Nick Wenger)

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Arkansas is at a historic low point. Coming off back-to-back 2-10 seasons, the Razorbacks have a new head coach after firing Chad Morris just 22 games into his disastrous tenure in Fayetteville.

They replaced him with a familiar name, but one who hasn’t been a head coach since leading a junior college team in the early 1990s and hasn’t even been a coordinator at the FBS level. Sam Pittman does have a reputation as an excellent recruiter and developer of offensive linemen, giving the Arkansas fan base at least some hope that he’ll be able to stabilize the program.

As if that wasn’t already a big enough challenge, Pittman is dealing with unprecedented circumstances during his first offseason. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, he and his almost entirely new staff lost all of spring practice, as well as a chunk of offseason conditioning.

The team reconvened in Fayetteville in June to begin working out and has been doing walk-through practices with the coaching staff on the field for a couple of weeks. Despite uncertainty swirling about the season, which is scheduled to start Sept. 26, Arkansas is still scheduled to begin fall camp next Monday.

Between now and then, HawgBeat will preview each of the Razorbacks’ position groups, breaking down the returning players and additions, providing the top storylines, and projecting a depth chart ahead of this critical stretch.

Next up are the defensive tackles…

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The Roster

Returning players: Jonathan Marshall (r-sr.), Nicholas Fulwider (r-so.) Isaiah Nichols (r-so.), Taurean Carter (r-fr.), Enoch Jackson Jr. (r-fr.), Marcus Miller (r-fr.), Elias Hale (r-sr. - walk-on)

Additions: Xavier Kelly (r-sr. - grad. transfer), Andy Boykin (fr. - 2020 signee)

The Starters

With last year’s starters, McTelvin Agim and T.J. Smith, having exhausted their collegiate eligibility and the new coaching staff unsure of the returning depth behind them, one of head coach Sam Pittman’s first goals was bringing in a graduate transfer defensive tackle.

The Razorbacks found their man in Xavier Kelly, a former four-star recruit and top-150 prospect who spent the last four years at Clemson. Although the Tigers reached the College Football Playoffs each season and won a pair of national titles while he was there, Kelly didn’t have a major role on those teams.

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