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football Edit

2020 Arkansas Freshman Report - Week 8

Myles Slusher played well for Arkansas in the loss to LSU.
Myles Slusher played well for Arkansas in the loss to LSU. (Arkansas Athletics)

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In a normal year, HawgBeat publishes a “Redshirt Tracker” after each week of the season to keep an eye on which players have played enough to burn their redshirt.

This started a couple of years ago when the NCAA made a rule change that allowed all players - not just freshmen - to appear in as many as four games and maintain the year of eligibility.

Last season, this proved to be a significant piece because of the way former head coach Chad Morris bungled the rule for a few players, using them on meaningless kneel downs in multiple games to essentially waste one of those four games.

However, this is far from a normal year. With the constant threat of COVID-19 forcing players to miss games - through positive tests or contact tracing - and even possibly canceling or postponing games, the NCAA voted to grant all players an extra year of eligibility, regardless of how much they play.

That will allow true freshmen and upperclassmen alike to play in every game this season without having to worry about burning their redshirt.

Because of that, HawgBeat decided to turn its “Redshirt Tracker” into simply a “Freshman Report” in which we give a rundown of which true freshmen have appeared in games this season.

Here is the update after Arkansas’ game against LSU…

RB Donte Buckner*

Games Played: 1

Snaps: 1 on ST

PFF Grade: 60.0 (ST)

Stats: N/A

Although he dressed for the game and went through pregame warmups, Buckner did not play against LSU. The walk-on from White Hall was presumably the third-team running back for the game, behind Trelon Smith and T.J. Hammonds.

K Vito Calvaruso*

Games Played: 8

Snaps: 38 on ST

PFF Grade: 80.1 (ST - kickoff grade)

Stats: 38 kickoffs, 27 touchbacks, 3 out of bounds, 64.5-yard average; 2 tackles (2 solo)

Calvaruso was perfect against LSU, sending all five of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. The performance earned him a 73.4 kickoff grade from Pro Football Focus, which matches his season high.

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