With Spring Game Behind Them, Razorbacks Move on Preparing For 2021 Season

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Photos Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ spring game was a success in most ways and now the team will turn its attention to the summer while preparing for the 2021 season.

Sam Pittman explained what is next for his Razorbacks following Saturday’s game.

“They are are on discretionary week over the next several weeks, which means they can or can’t come work out,” Pittman said. “That’ll be up to them. I think we have enough leadership that everybody will get their three lifts in over the next two weeks. We want them to. We can’t make them, but certainly would like them to, and I expect them to. That’ll be the next two weeks, then they have finals, then they’re going to go home and get a well-deserved break. They need one with the COVID and all that stuff. They need to go home and relax and see their family. Then they’ll be back about the 25th or the 23rd they’ll be back and ready to roll.”

While KJ Jefferson is the starting quarterback coming out of spring it’s common knowledge a team needs to have at least two ready to play. That is where redshirt freshman Malik Hornsby comes into the picture. He completed 11 of 18 passes on Saturday for 144 yards and a touchdown. He did have some passes that almost were intercepted, but following the game Pittman praised Hornsby.

“I was impressed with him,” Pittman said. “You know I thought he was way more accurate than what he had been in the past. He had great command of the offense out there. Again, I think he’ll be a better player when we’re allowed to use the quarterback as a runner a little bit more. I thought he had a good day. I thought he was much more accurate than what he had been early in spring.”

Safety Jalen Catalon also gave some praise to Hornsby.

“Malik Hornsby, he comes in ready to work,” Catalon said. “He’s like a sponge. He likes to soak in everything and be the best quarterback he can be. You saw today, he threw the ball really well. When he was able to run, you saw what made him so special, his speed and ability to get out of the pocket. I thought he had a really good day today. I thought he was really consistent as far as mindset and mentality throughout the spring. He did a lot of good things for us.”

Junior wide receiver Trey Knox had two receptions for 46 yards including a big 42-yard gain from Jefferson. Jefferson liked what he saw from Knox on Saturday and throughout the spring.

“His grind, his hard work and his mindset, also,” Jefferson said. “He’s attacked it. Last year, he had some adversity going on in his life and now toward this spring he overcame that adversity and became a better person, better teammate and leader. He’s being more vocal on the outside now and setting a huge example for the young guys coming in. I feel like he has done a great job this spring overcoming adversity.”

Another area that looked better on Saturday than in some of the other scrimmages was the kicking game. Arkansas didn’t miss a field goal or PAT on Saturday. Pittman talked about the kicking game.

“To be honest with you, our team needed that,” Pittman said. “We needed to see our guys make field goals. It was certainly a positive for me, you know, of where we could kick from and things of that nature. Again, I’ve got to go back, but I thought Sam Loy punted really well as well today, and then the kickers all did a nice job. Vito (Calvaruso) kicked the one out of bounds, which we can’t do, but other than that I thought they had a nice day.”

Reid Bauer averaged 42 yards per punt, George Caratan 40.5 and Loy 39. Cameron Little made a 20- and 38-yard field goals and was perfect on two point after touchdows (PAT). Matthew Phillips booted field goals of 26, 27 and 24 yards while also making both PAT attempted. Calvaruso added one PAT.

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