HawgBeat - 2020 Arkansas Camp Preview: Secondary
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2020 Arkansas Camp Preview: Secondary

Montaric Brown is one of Arkansas' several returning starters in the secondary.
Montaric Brown is one of Arkansas' several returning starters in the secondary. (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 set to begin fall camp 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 is the secondary…

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The Roster

Returning players: Micahh Smith (r-sr.), Montaric Brown (r-jr.), Jordon Curtis (r-jr.), Jarques McClellion (r-jr.), Joe Foucha (jr.), Myles Mason (jr.), LaDarrius Bishop (r-so.), Greg Brooks Jr. (so.), Devin Bush (r-fr.), Jalen Catalon (r-fr.), Malik Chavis (r-fr.), Martaveous Brown (jr. - walk-on), Simeon Blair (r-so. - walk-on), Nathan Parodi (r-so. - walk-on), Cameron Vail (r-so. - walk-on), Hudson Clark (r-fr. - walk-on), Jon Conley (r-fr. - walk-on)

Additions: Jerry Jacobs (r-sr. - grad. transfer), Khari Johnson (fr. - 2020 signee), Myles Slusher (fr. - 2020 signee), Jacorrei Turner (fr. - 2020 signee), Nick Turner (fr. - 2020 signee)

The Starters

Outside of the offensive line with new head coach Sam Pittman’s background, the secondary might be the most intriguing position group on the team heading into the 2020 season.

Arkansas returns both of its starting cornerbacks, its starting nickel and one of its starting safeties. The only departure was Kamren Curl, who skipped his senior year to enter the NFL Draft and was taken in the seventh round.

However, with Barry Odom taking over the defense, there could be some shuffling around and more than just one new starter.

The frontrunners at cornerback are likely returning starters Montaric Brown and Jarques McClellion, who will each be redshirt juniors this season. They’ll have some competition, though.

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