football Edit

Recruiting Roundup: Strap in for transfer portal season

Wide receiver Warren Thompson entered the transfer portal last week
Wide receiver Warren Thompson entered the transfer portal last week (Nick Wenger)

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Each week, HawgBeat.com provides a completely free update of everything going on in the recruiting world for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Roundup

Arkansas Football loses four players

The transfer portal officially opens on Dec. 5, and there is sure to be plenty of movement both in and out of the Arkansas football program. Four Arkansas football players have already left the team, and they all have remaining eligibility to enter the portal.

Running back James Jointer, who joined the program out of Little Rock Parkview High School in the 2022 class, announced he will be entering the portal.

Jointer was a 5.6 three-star recruit coming out of Little Rock Parkview High School, and has played sparingly in the 2022 season, only rushing the ball three times and gaining nine yards against Auburn.

Jointer's departure comes just six days after wide receiver Warren Thompson quit the football team. He began the season in the starting lineup and recorded 12 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns, but saw his playing time diminish as the role of some of the other receivers increased.

Prior to Arkansas' loss against Missouri on Friday, a University of Arkansas spokesperson announced Myles Slusher had also left the team. Head coach Sam Pittman confirmed the news after the game. He joined the Hogs in the 2020 recruiting class, and started seven games in 2021.

Slusher battled injuries early in the 2022 season, and was suspended one game due to an altercation with Fayetteville police after the team's loss to Liberty.

On Thanksgiving, Arkansas defensive back Chase Lowery also announced his intent to leave the program. Lowery redshirted in 2021, and did not see playing time in any games this season.

Expect more chips to fall in the coming days/weeks. Pittman said after the Missouri game that exit interviews are up next for him and the staff.

“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we have exit meetings with the kids,” Pittman said. “There’ll be… Without a doubt, there’ll be some portal action and all that kind of stuff — us and everybody else in the country. And then you just have to figure it out. It’s there for a reason and you just have to figure out, obviously, who wants to stay with the program and who wants to transfer out. They have their own reasons and things of that nature.”

Pittman planning to be aggressive in the transfer portal

The transfer portal is set to open officially on Dec. 5, but many players are taking to social media to announce their intent to transfer to other programs for the 2023 season. Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said earlier this week the coaching staff expects "a lot of action" in bringing in new players.

The Hogs will have to address the replacement of players leaving not just to the transfer portal, but also to the NFL Draft and graduation.

Pittman said he understands there are many reasons why someone might enter the transfer portal, and mentioned a player he grabbed out of the portal last offseason as an example.

"Drew Sanders, I don’t think he was disgruntled with Alabama," Pittman said. "I think he wanted playing time, he wanted to maybe move his position, whatever. The world looks at everybody who goes in the portal as the worst thing in the world and I really don’t. I look at it as maybe he sees on the depth chart, he’s not going to play for two, three years, maybe ever, and decides to go into the portal."

There will certainly be plenty of movement in the transfer portal for Arkansas, and the best place to track all of that movement is on HawgBeat's premium message board, The Trough.

2024 4-Star running back on hand to watch Arkansas beat Ole Miss

4-star running back Traevon Dunbar of Aiken, South Carolina, was at Arkansas for the second time last weekend to watch the Hogs defeat Ole Miss 42-27 to become bowl eligible.

Dobson said his favorite part of the trip was talking to Pittman and the staff. He told HawgBeat the teams that show him the most interest are the ones who will have the best chance at earning his commitment, and said he is hearing from the staff on a weekly basis.

As a sophomore in 2021, Dunbar accounted for 28 total touchdowns, and racked up 2,107 all-purpose yards for Midland Valley High School.

Hardwood Hogs give two electric performances during Maui Invitational

Some of the best recruiting material a coach can have is to play intense games on the nation's biggest stages, and Arkansas basketball got just that this week at the Maui Invitational in Hawaii.

Arkansas finished 2-1 in its three games, starting the tournament with a blowout win over Louisville before losing a close contest against No. 10 Creighton in the second round, 90-87. But it was the final game of the tournament that provided the best scene in college basketball.

During their third game in as many days, Arkansas looked gassed and struggled mightily against No. 17 San Diego State, trailing the Aztecs for most of the game. It was the play of forward Kamani Johnson that shifted things for the Hogs.

Johnson only scored seven points, but it was an offensive rebound and putback as time expired to tie the game and send it to overtime. It was Johnson who hit the final two free throws of the game to give the Hogs the win, 78-74.

You can read more about the Hogs' overtime win by clicking here.

JUCO DB target commits to Oklahoma

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College defensive back Kendal Dolby will be headed to Norman to play for Oklahoma. He announced his commitment to the Sooners on Wednesday.

In seven games during the 2021 season, Dolby recorded 24 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups. He returned one of his interceptions 44 yards for a touchdown.

He played just five games during the 2022 season, racking up 19 tackles, two tackles for loss and four pass breakups.

Pittman starting early with 2026 QB visiting the Hogs last weekend

The 2023 class is set to sign in December, and the staff is already working on getting offers out to future classes, extending an offer to 2026 quarterback Landon Duckworth.

Duckworth visited Fayetteville during the Ole Miss game, and said he loved the vibe at Arkansas following the victory.

"The visit was great," Duckworth said. "What stood out most was the atmosphere at the school and game the welcoming spirit I felt from the staff. I also had a chance to meet some of the best Arkansas fans."

In his freshman season, the Jackson, Alabama, native threw for 1,985 yards and 20 touchdowns, and added 355 yards on the ground with eight trips to the end zone.

Duckworth said this will not be the only time he's in Fayetteville, as he is planning on making a return trip in the future. He said he is hearing from Auburn and Mississippi State as well.

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