FAYETTEVILLE — No. 10 Arkansas is likely to get junior running back Dominique Johnson back on Saturday when the Hogs host Missouri State.
Johnson played in 13 games in 2021 with six starts. He rushed 97 times for 575 yards and seven touchdowns. Johnson also added seven receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Sam Pittman was explaining the play of true freshman running back Rashod Dubinion when he started Johnson is likely returning.
“Yes, but you know Domo is coming back,” Pittman said. “So you have four guys back there you’re trying to give balls to. Obviously, Rocket (Sanders) is the guy in that room. If Domo wasn’t coming back, I probably would tell you absolutely R-Dub’s reps would increase. With Domo coming back, I just don’t know exactly how that’s going to look yet. We’ll have our coach’s meeting on Saturday and see what Jimmy (Smith) thinks about it, but I don’t really know at this point to be honest with you.”
So that means Johnson is coming back?
“Well, I hope so,” Pittman said. “He’s looked good. He’s got the brace off. Again, in all honesty, I think it’ll be up to him if he feels like he’s ready to go. He’s been cleared. He’s been cleared actually for the last two weeks. If yesterday was any indication, I would say he would play Saturday, but it’s still up to him how he feels. I think he’s feeling pretty good.”
The injury questions for Saturday have surrounded junior nickel back Myles Slusher, senior safety Latavious Brini and senior tight end Trey Knox. Pittman clarified the status of each.
“I feel strong about Brini and Knox,” Pittman said. “Slush is still up in the air. So we’ll see if he’ll be available. He hasn’t done any practicing, so there’s a chance he’ll be available, but we’ll have to see. It’s a day-by-day deal. We’d kind of have to see today how that works.”
Dwight McGlothern is a junior transfer cornerback. He started against South Carolina. He had an interception against both Cincinnati and the Gamecocks. Pittman talked about his improvement from preseason when he was competing for a starting spot and playing time.
“He’s really confident,” Pittman said. “I think that’s the first thing a corner has to be. But he sees routes well. He obviously does a lot of film study before each game. He understands who his opponent is, who he’s playing against. He gets some tips off of that and things of that nature.
“It’s one thing to break in front of a ball, and another thing to catch it, you know. And he has very good ball skills. So he gives himself an opportunity to pick ‘em. But he’s long, and he’s probably the proto-type corner. He’s a corner. He’s not going to knock you out on a tackle and all that. He’ll get you on the ground.
“I like him because he’s got really good ball skills and he really has good awareness, and certainly he’s played before. That helps him.”
Redshirt freshman Keuan Parker has worked his way up the depth chart and appears set to be a factor on Saturday.
“I like him,” Pittman said. “I’ve always liked him. He has good speed. He’s tough, now. He’s not the most physical looking guy, but I think he’s one of our best cover corners that we have. I went up to him Monday I guess and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got your opportunity now.’ I really believe in him. He can stop and turn on a dime. He’s very competitive. A willing tackler. I really like him. I think this is going to be his time to shine when he get out there because I’m very confident in him.”
The Hogs will host Missouri State (2-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 on ESPN+/SECN+.