FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas signed three freshmen wide receivers in the Class of 2021 and now each of them are getting chance to prove they are ready to contribute immediately.
Two of the three, Ketron Jackson and Jaedon Wilson, enrolled at midterm and went through spring drills. Bryce Stephens reported in January. Jackson, 6-2, 205, is from Royse City (Texas) while Wilson, 6-3, 175, played at DeSoto (Texas). Stephens, 6-0, 180, is a speedster from Oklahoma City (Okla.) John Marshall.
As a senior, Jackson caught 39 passes for 765 yards and 10 touchdowns. Stephens had 32 receptions for 686 yards and nine touchdowns. Wilson had 25 receptions for 488 yards and eight touchdowns. Kenny Guiton likes his three freshmen.
“Three of them came in, and I’m very intrigued about what they bring to the table right now,” Guiton said. “Three different styles of guys, too. That’s what I like in a wideout room. I like those three different styles. You’ve got Bryce Stephens, who’s a good-sized kid who can really fly. He can really fly. We’re excited about that. You can always use a guy that can fly, so I can see him helping us out. Ketron (Jackson) is a bigger guy who is also powerful and has good speed. Ketron Jackson, if you look at his body and his legs, you can see that kid is a grown man at 18 years old. Excited for what he brings to the table. Jaedon Wilson, he has really, really, really exceptional feet. Trying to bring along that strength. He has body control but the kind of strength and that kind of stature he needs to last throughout an SEC season. Excited about all three of them. They’re all three different types of guys, and I think they’re all three going to help us out here in the future.”
Junior wide receiver Trey Knox is one of the more experienced wide receivers on the team. He was asked about the freshmen wide receivers and if he sees himself in any of them?
“Those guys are very, very talented,” Knox said. “I would say if anybody I feel like it’s Ketron. He has that big frame. He’s about 205 as a freshman, something that I was even struggling to do as a freshman. So I think he’s very talented. Jaedon is a very great route runner. Bryce is blazing fast. The type of guy with dangerous speed. If he gets even, he’s definitely leaving. There’s no catching up. I think this is just a talented group of young guys that can really help us down the line.”
Senior De’Vion Warren also offered up his thoughts on the three freshmen.
“I’ve never been a big guy, but Ketron is kind of a big guy,” Warren said. “Jaedon and Bryce are just slimmer guys, a lot faster. So I see [them] in myself, Bryce just learning to play under control. Same thing I did, playing under control. Same thing for Jaedon, an incredible route runner. Just learning how to play under control and playing within your framework. Just some of the same stuff I had to learn over my time here. Once they learn that, understand that, they’ll be great.”
Jackson was a four-star recruit who chose the Razorbacks over Texas and many others. Knox talked more about him.
“He has great hands, I will say that,” Knox said. “He’s physical. Something that a bunch of young guys don’t know, like how to play big and how to use his hands and use his strength to get open at times. And I think he knows how to do that. And he’s willing to learn, and he wants to be great, and I think that is a big trait in a guy that wants to be great and will be great.”
Warren also had more to say about Jackson.
“Just great hands,” Warren said. “He’s sneaky fast, you know. Very sneaky fast. He’s not just going to flat out run by you, but if he gets close he might just go ahead and inch on by you. His speed is just very sneaky. His hands are great. The ability to play physical as a freshman… you come in, most guys don’t really like being physical, but he likes it. He likes to use his hands. Those are some of the things that people don’t really know just by seeing him.”
Arkansas will practice today and then have an off day on Wednesday. Thursday will be the first day of pads.