FAYETTEVILLE — When Kendal Briles met with the media on Saturday following the practice he was asked about Jadon Haselwood and Ketron Jackson at wide receiver.
Haselwood is a transfer from Oklahoma where he caught 39 passes for 399 yards and six touchdowns. Jackson caught five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman for the Hogs. Briles feels Haselwood is a very good addition.
“Yeah, Haselwood’s had a very good nine practices,” Briles said. “If you talk to him, very mature, smart kid. So, picking up the playbook and all those things have been really fast for him. He’s a fast learner. You tell him something one time, and he’s got it. He’s an experienced guy, so he’s done it, he’s played at a high level before he got here. You get anything close to him, he catches the football. He’s got a little bit of a nagging injury with his shoulder that he’s battled through the spring, so he’s been in a green jersey for the most part, which is a non-contact jersey. So, really pleased with what he’s done form a mental standpoint.
“Him and Bryce Stephens have been splitting reps with the ones, and both those guys are competing. But Jadon will be on the field for us when we go play. There’s a host of guys you can say have made moves. And the moves aren’t done being made. So, there’s a lot of ball left to be played here with these six practices and then once you get in fall camp. You can talk about all the positions and all that right now, but there’s just a lot of battles that are going to be out there, so that’s probably going to be moving.”
Jackson injured his knee as a senior in high school and some felt it hampered him still a little as a freshman. Briles helped recruit Jackson and knew what he was getting with the former four-star.
“Ultra talented,” Briles said. “Big guy. If you look at him on the field, he looks like an SEC West receiver. And honestly he came here really raw. He’s just kind of a raw player. But very, very athletic. A lot of explosion. Like I said, he’s a long frame. He’s a 25-foot long jumper. He is playing as good as he looks now. So that’s important. He’s catching the ball well, he’s being able to separate. He’s making contested catches. His mental side was not really where it needed to be last year but it didn’t have to be. We had some older guys that really he wasn’t going to push enough to beat out. But he’s done a really, really nice job. I think he’s going to be a big weapon for us because he can run and he can go down the field and make plays. So I think he’ll be as fast or faster than anybody we put on the field from the receiver position last year. Burks may disagree with that. But on the outside at least.”
Warren Thompson returns at wide receiver after catching 19 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns.