FAYETTEVILLE — Gone is Treylon Burks, but Arkansas still has a talented group of wide receivers including redshirt senior Warren Thompson and sophomore Ketron Jackson.
Thompson transferred to Arkansas from Florida State prior to last season. Jackson was one of the prizes of Arkansas’ Class of 2022. The Royse City (Texas) four-star chose Arkansas over Texas and many others.
Thompson was fourth on the team with 19 receptions for 304 yards and two touchdowns in 2021. On Thursday following practice he reflected back on his first season as a Razorback.
“I felt like I did alright,” Thompson said. “But I know I can do better, and I’m going to make that my mission to be better and win a lot of games.”
Since you are from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood High School originally how big was playing the final game of 2021 in Tampa against Penn State and did that mean a lot to you?
“Yeah, it definitely did,” Thompson said. “Just at that time with my baby being born and things like that, it was great to be down there with my family. I never really got to – even though I was in Tallahassee previously, I never really got to play in Tampa, so that was a dream come true for real.”
Thompson talked about how he ended up at Arkansas when he opted to leave the Seminoles. Arkansas’ Kendal Briles was the offensive coordinator at Florida State in 2019.
“Just eager to play you know and get back,” Thompsons said. “I trusted in Coach Briles. I really didn’t know Coach (Sam) Pittman that well. But once I got here, man, I fell in love with him because he was like a different type of head coach that I had never been around before. I just appreciated it. I appreciated being here and I still do. It’s a blessing.”
Thompson came to Arkansas though without a scholarship. However, he was awarded one by Pittman before the season even started.
“It was a blessing for real,” Thompson said. “Like, he was really just quiet about it and everything. I was kind of getting over my injury, so I just kind of wanted to get out there and show him what I could do. But it was definitely a weight lifted.”
Jackson caught five passes for 97 yards and one touchdown last fall. He is pleased to get to play for Kenny Guiton.
” I appreciate him, too,” Jackson said. “I came in, and he saw my talent, how I’m built. Like, I’m the big guy. He just wanted to bring the dog mentality out of me and all the small details. He played quarterback. I love when we’ll be in film. I get to learn a lot of stuff I never learned before. He stresses small details. He stresses that. Like blocking, especially blocking. He emphasizes all that. That’s the coach that I love. He brings the energy every day to us. We’ve got to bring the energy to him.”
One receiver who is also expected to play a big role this fall is Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood. Jackson is impressed with the former Sooner and five-star recruit out of high school.
“He played at OU, he’s been like a veteran,” Jackson said. “He came the first few days, he’s talking to us and making sure we’re on track. I like that because I’m a young guy and have to get adjusted to some stuff. But the addition of him, I feel like it’s great. It brings… that’s another vet that we can depend on. So, I feel like it’s great.”
Jackson also weighed in what it’s like to not have Burks catching passes for the Hogs.
“Yeah, with Burks leaving, obviously that’s a huge load to pick up,” Jackson said. “But I mean, coach came in and told us after that, ‘He’s gone. Who’s going to step up.’ Like we’ve got the talent to do it. It’s just a matter of like who’s going to step up. Every day at practice they’re saying ‘Consistency, consistency, consistency.’ That’s what me, Warren and the others are bringing every day so we can show that we didn’t lose nothing. We’re just stepping ahead.”
Thompson teamed with Burks much of last season to cause issues for opposing secondaries.
“We’re trying to build every day just trying to build a foundation with consistency and just play-making,” Thompson said. “We’ve got the ability in the room. It’s not left. We’re going to bring that. We’re building every day.”
A freshman who is already turning some heads at wide receiver is Quincey McAdoo from Clarendon. McAdoo got behind an experienced cornerback in a recent practice for a touchdown.
“Quincey’s going to be a great player, honestly to me,” Jackson said. “He looks up to me kind of a lot. Like, we talk and text a lot and go over plays. He asks me, ‘How do you do this?’ But, I just saw he didn’t know what he was doing, and he’d go and make a play. I said, ‘Once you know what he’s doing…’ It’s going to be him. He’s a great player.”
Arkansas will hold an open scrimmage on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.