FAYETTEVILLE — Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jackson Woodard has seen his hard work and determination at Arkansas payoff in the form of a scholarship from Sam Pittman.
Woodard, 6-3, 228, came to Arkansas as a preferred walk-on from Little Rock Christian. Woodard played in 11 games in 2021 with seven tackles, including five solo. That followed a true freshman season in 2020 when he played in four games and recorded two tackles. Since he only played in four games that preserved his redshirt season.
Woodard has made a strong impression on the Razorbacks this spring. He spent various time with the second- and third-team units. Arkansas’ talented linebacker Bumper Pool praised Woodard following the second scrimmage on April 16.
“Jackson is extremely hard working and he will do anything he can to make sure he’s bettering his game,” Pool said. “Watching his growth has been great. As I said all our young guys throughout the spring continue to get better, learn and if we continue that we’ll have a successful linebacker room for years to come.”
As a senior at Little Rock Christian in 2019, Woodard recorded 153 tackles, two sacks and four forced fumbles. That came on the heels of a 14-1 season in 2018, ending the year with the 5A state title after a 52-38 rout of Pulaski Academy in War Memorial Stadium.
Woodard is in a position to see some extended action in 2022 with the loss of Hayden Henry and Grant Morgan to graduation.
In other news, redshirt junior tight end Nathan Bax, 6-4, 260, and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Harper Cole, 5-9, 176, were also awarded scholarships. Bax is from Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias Catholic and started his career at Illinois State. He ran some second- and third-team tight end this spring. Cole is from Aurora (Ill.) Waubonsie Valley. He got second reps with the second-team this spring and is also one of the players they are looking at for punt returner.
In a bit of bad news, redshirt junior offensive lineman Dylan Rathcke, 6-5, 300, has retired from football and placed on medical hardship.