Tight Ends Proved to be Big Part of Kendal Briles’ Offense in 2020

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Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Jon Cooper didn’t have big numbers at tight end in 2020 as far as experienced players, but he made the most of what he had.

Gone from the 2019 team were Cheyenne O’Grady, Hayden Johnson, Grayson Gunter and Chase Harrell. In 2020, senior Blake Kern and redshirt freshman Hudson Henry carried the load for the Razorbacks in Kendal Briles’ offense.

Kern caught 20 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Henry grabbed 16 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. For Kern who was originally a walk-on from Lamar High School it had to be a special gratifying season. He had no receptions prior to 2020. Henry was a highly recruited four-star recruit from Pulaski Academy and has a bright future with the Hogs. Kern is one of seven seniors who plans to return for the 2021 season.

Arkansas also has freshman Collin Sutherland returning as a scholarship tight end. He redshirted this season in Fayetteville. Redshirt freshman walk-on Nathan Bax also is slated to return. The Hogs signed Little Rock Parkview’s Erin Outley in recruiting. He will report in late May or early June.

Two true freshmen who spent time at tight end in 2020 have moved back to their normal positions. Blayne Toll is back at defensive end while Marcus Henderson is playing left tackle on offense.

Arkansas already has a commitment at tight end in the Class of 2022 as well. DeWitt’s Dax Courtney, 6-6, 210, is committed to the Razorbacks over a long list of other schools. Ashdown’s Class of 2023 tight end Shamar Easter, 6-5, 215, holds offers to Arkansas and others.

The Razorbacks have had two John Mackey Award winners since joining the SEC. D.J. Williams captured the award in 2010 and Hunter Henry won it in 2015. He is the older brother of Hudson Henry.

Arkansas’ Tight Ends

Nathan Bax, 6-4, 238, Redshirt Sophomore, Illinois State Transfer (Jefferson City, Mo.)

Hudson Henry, 6-5, 249, Redshirt Sophomore, Pulaski Academy

Blake Kern, 6-4, 269, Redshirt Senior, Lamar

Collin Sutherland, 6-5, 251, Redshirt Freshman Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus

Erin Outley, 6-4, 255, Freshman, Little Rock Parkview

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