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Sam Pittman shares depth in wide receiver room ahead of bowl game

Screen Shot 2024-05-28 at 9.09.17 AMby:Kaiden Smith12/26/22


Arkansas will enter their Liberty Bowl matchup against Kansas with a different look in the passing game, as the Razorbacks have lost four of their top six receiving targets to the transfer portal following their last regular season game. The Razorbacks will have to make do with what they have, and head coach Sam Pittman spoke about what receiver targets star quarterback KJ Jefferson will have to throw to on December 28.

“Well he’s got (Sam) Mbake, and he’s got Bryce Stephens, and he has Jaedon Wilson, let me think here, who am I missing, young guys, (Isaiah) Sategna, got him. So we’re a little short there in numbers, really in playing experience,” Pittman said.

Pittman may have struggled to come up with some names in his wide receiver room, but isn’t worried, as he was faced with a similar problem last year when their No. 1 receiver declared for the NFL Draft ahead of their bowl game.

“We went out and won the Outback Bowl last year without (Treylon) Burks,” Pittman explained. “We did not just light it up in the air as well, I think we were like around 100 yards. But it’s time, Rodgers, Landon Rodgers, it’s time for these guys, Chris Harris is a guy that can go, Harper Cole.”

The wide receiver options Pittman listed for their bowl game have combined for 10 total catches this season, eight of which have come from Stephens. Thankfully for the Razorbacks, their leading receiver Matt Landers will be playing in the Liberty Bowl, but the rest of the supporting cast will be young and getting experience on the fly.

“We talked about it being next year, and I know we’ve got a couple of young guys coming in, and then certainly we have to go in the portal there. Not necessarily to put these guys on the bench, just we don’t have very many on scholarship,” Pittman said.

The Razorbacks will also be without their top tight end Trey Knox, who ranked third on the team in receptions, but thankfully will have a combination of experience and youth at that position to fill his void.

“So there and of course Hudson Henry‘s gonna play in the bowl and (Nathan) Bax and we found out yesterday that the NCAA passed a rule with Tyrus Washington where your fifth game would not count towards eligibility numbers so he’ll be able to play, which we were holding him at four so he’ll be able to activate and play as well,” Pittman said. “I think that a great rule, especially with the numbers are down probably for a lot of teams and I think that was a great rule.”

Arkansas’ offense may look more like they will in the future versus how they’ve looked this past season, but hopefully, in the Liberty Bowl, some of the Razorback’s young talent will be able to step up and make an impact in their newly expanded roles.