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One of 9 new hogs captured from Arkansas natives in other states

Jacolby Criswell, Khafre Brown, Arkansas football, transfer portal
photo credit: Craven Whitlow / USF Athletics

After catching passes from two Arkansans in his last two stops, Khafre Brown will have the opportunity to finish his career catching passes for Arkansas.

Now a sixth-year super senior, the veteran wide receiver canceled his commitment to the Razorbacks on Monday. He initially announced he would use his extra year of eligibility in Charlotte.

Brown began his career with three seasons at North Carolina before transferring to South Florida, where he spent the last two seasons. At those schools, he played with two former Arkansas four-star quarterbacks: Morrilton native Jacolby Criswell, who spent last season with the Razorbacks before returning to North Carolina, and Earle native Gerry Bohanon , who began his career at Baylor.

They may not have had many connections in the game, but it’s safe to assume that Brown at least caught the passes thrown by the two Natural State products in practice.

Regardless of who was throwing the ball in actual games, Brown has been a somewhat productive receiver in college, catching 47 passes for 908 yards and eight touchdowns over the last four seasons combined. Most of that came during his redshirt freshman year at North Carolina (15 rec., 337 yards, 2 TD) and his senior year at South Florida (27 rec., 435 yards, 5 TD ), as he dealt with injuries in between. .

Listed at 6-foot-0, 185 pounds, Brown was a four-star, top-250 recruit coming out of high school in 2019 and is known for his speed. With his size and skill set, he likely projects as a slot receiver at Arkansas in the same mold as Isaiah Sategna, Jordan Anthony and Bryce Stephens.

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It would be surprising if he came in and beat out Sategna for the starting job, but it’s not unrealistic to think he could win the backup job ahead of Anthony and Stephens. Anthony is a transfer himself, following Bobby Petrino from Texas A&M to Fayetteville, and has legitimate track speed. Yet he hasn’t shown consistency catching the ball to be considered a lock to crack the two-deep depth chart.

That’s the story of most of the players Arkansas added from the transfer portal this spring, as it fills out its roster with quality depth. Most of the projected high-impact transfers came through the portal during the winter window and passed through spring ball.

Here’s a look at the seven other Razorbacks who have committed over the past month…

DT Danny Saili — BYU

You won’t find any stats for Danny Saili at BYU as he was only there one semester before hitting the transfer portal this spring. Before joining the Cougars, he was a three-star JUCO recruit, ranked 13th nationally at that level by 247Sports. Texas Tech initially landed his commitment, but Saili reversed course late in the process.

According to reports from Provo, he was likely going to be in BYU’s two-deep and could have competed for a starting job. The key was going to be getting back into shape, as he checked in at 370 pounds. Assuming he can master that in Fayetteville, Saili also has a chance to be in the Razorbacks’ two-deep.

Cam Ball is essentially a lock to start at one of the defensive tackle spots after a strong spring, with veterans Eric Gregory and Keivie Rose vying for that second spot. Beyond them, it was pretty thin at that position. The coaches are very happy with Ian Geffrard, but he is still losing weight and is only a redshirt freshman. Adding a more experienced player, even from the JUCO ranks, is important to Arkansas’ interior defensive line depth — and it could probably still add another.

QB Blake Boda – Coastal Carolina

Recruited by Bobby Petrino from both Missouri State and UNLV, Blake Boda will finally get the opportunity to play for the offensive genius after spending a year at Coastal Carolina, where he played just 13 snaps and completed his only pass for 14 yards as a freshman.

His addition hasn’t been met with much fanfare, but that’s OK because he’s not expected to compete for the starting job. In fact, Boda could be the fourth-team quarterback when everything is ready. Still, it was important for the Razorbacks to bring him in because it gives them four scholarship quarterbacks once again. He filled the spot vacated by Jacolby Criswell, essentially completing a three-way trade.

LB Stephen Dix Jr. — Marshall

Four-star recruit, Stephen Dix Jr. burst onto the scene as a true freshman at Florida State in 2020. He appeared in every game and was even a starter for the second half of the season, finishing third in team for tackles and winner Freshman All-America honors from Rivals.

Unfortunately, he never really built on this season. Dix was a rotational linebacker who played sparingly in 2021, then missed the entire 2022 season with an undisclosed injury. Projected to be buried again on the depth map, he entered the portal and landed in Marshall. Playing in the Sun Belt, Dix became a starter and finished the year with 67 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 2 sacks, earning him an impressive 80.7 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Obviously the SEC is a step up from the Sun Belt, but given his past success in the ACC and the fact that he was able to get on the field and be productive after injury, this seems like a very solid addition at linebacker. room that sorely lacks experience. The coaching staff thinks there’s a lot of talent at the position, but — with the exception of Georgia transfer Xavian Sorey Jr. — they’re all young, so Dix should have a chance to compete for a spot in the rotation alongside players like Sorey, Brad Spence, Alex Sanford and Carson Dean.

OL Joe Plus — Syracuse

Even though the Razorbacks came out of spring ball feeling good about their starting offensive line, depth was a serious concern – both from a second-team production standpoint and from an overall numbers standpoint. . Even though all of the offensive linemen on last year’s roster were still eligible, four reached the transfer portal, two entered the NFL draft, two medically retired and one got his diploma early.

Arkansas replaced those nine starters with two high school signees and three transfers midyear, giving it a net loss of four scholarship players at the position. That’s why this position was definitely needed, even before the second unit struggled in the spring.

Joe More is a step toward rebuilding depth, but the seventh-year super senior is a temporary solution. He spent five years at FCS Richmond before transferring to Syracuse, where he was limited to 29 snaps in three games last year due to injuries. Primarily a right tackle with the Spiders, most of More’s snaps with the Orange were at right guard.

DB Anthony Switzer — Utah State

A two-star recruit out of Marion High School in the class of 2019, Anthony Switzer initially stayed in the state by signing with Arkansas State. He spent three seasons with the Red Wolves, even starting 15 games, before entering the transfer portal and joining his former head coach, Blake Anderson, at Utah State.

Switzer missed the entire 2022 season due to injury, but was back in action last year and earned honorable mention All-MWC honors finishing with 85 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 pass breakups and an interception. That earned him a solid 66.5 grade from Pro Football Focus.

It’s always cool when an in-state player gets the opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing for the Razorbacks, and it doesn’t hurt that he comes from the same high school where the prized recruit and recent decommitment from Arkansas Carius Curne, but adding Switzer is also important because he is a versatile defensive piece, as he was a linebacker at Utah State and a safety at Arkansas State.

At Arkansas, he’s expected to be on the downside — an area he needs help in due to losing Snaxx Johnson to the portal. Tennessee transfer Doneiko Slaughter is still the projected starter, but Switzer gives the Razorbacks a veteran backup option instead of having to rely on a young player with limited or no experience.

LB Larry Worth — Jacksonville State

Yet another transfer who began his college career at FCS, Larry Worth moved up to the FBS level last season when Jacksonville State joined Conference USA. He had a solid sophomore campaign against tougher competition, finishing with 63 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 pass breakups and an interception. This happened primarily as a role player, starting just five games and earning a PFF grade of 69.2 on 470 snaps.

According to Pro Football Focus, however, Worth generated 16 total pressures in limited opportunities. He was also able to cut down on pass coverage. Similar to Switzer, he appears to be a versatile player who could play the role of a traditional linebacker, rush the passer or even play nickel – a role he was expected to play at Jacksonville State.

RB Rodney Hill – Florida A&M

A four-star recruit on ESPN and three-star prospect elsewhere, Rodney Hill signed with Florida State out of high school and spent two seasons with the Seminoles. He didn’t play much, getting just 154 offensive snaps during that span, but still managed to rush for 334 yards and two touchdowns on 77 carries. He also caught five passes for 83 yards last year.

Arkansas pursued Hill when he entered the transfer portal after last season, but ultimately decided to move down to the FCS level and go to Florida A&M. It lasted less than a semester, however, because Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons left to become running backs coach at Duke and he hit the portal again in the spring.

Given a second chance, the Razorbacks took it back this time. It was also an important addition, as Isaiah Augustave and Dominique Johnson each hit the transfer portal after spring ball. What was once a very deep running room suddenly found itself with just Ja’Quinden Jackson, Rashod Dubinion and Braylen Russell. Even if he doesn’t demand playing time immediately, Hill has at least given them four scholarship running backs — depth needed in the grueling SEC. (Arkansas has since added JUCO running back Tyrell Reed as well.)

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More coverage of Arkansas football and the transfer portal from BoAS…