FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorbacks have Bumper back in their pool but have lost their promising backup quarterback and a junior college transfer reserve defensive tackle to the transfer portal.
Bumper Pool, the lone eligible to return among Arkansas’ senior linebacking trio with Grant Morgan and Hayden Henry, announced he is returning for his fifth and final year at Arkansas rather than declare for the NFL draft. Third-year sophomore quarterback Malik Hornsby reportedly has submitted his name to the portal while unused in 2021 junior college transfer defensive tackle Jalen Williams (not to be confused with Razorbacks basketball player Jaylin Williams) of Tylertown, Miss. is transferring close to home at Southern Miss.
Because everyone who played in 2020 was restored eligibility for that covid pandemic disrupted season, 2020 seniors Morgan and Henry were granted 2021 senior eligibility, and Pool, a fourth-senior in 2021 and Arkansas’ leading 2021 tackler with 125 stops, is using the option to return as a 2022 fifth-year senior.
“I feel a certain responsibility to the State of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas and my teammates to continue the tradition, standard and legacy that has been set by our football program,” Pool posted Friday on social media. “With that being said I am foregoing the 2022 NFL Draft and coming back for my fifth year. Woo Pig.”
Hornsby, a 2021 second-year freshman struggling to develop as a passer but with sprinter’s speed shown by him netting 67 yards on 4 carries, one for 32 yards, briefly relieving starting quarterback KJ Jefferson on a scoring drive during Arkansas’ 24-10 Outback Bowl victory over Penn State. Hornsby Thursday night tweeted an intention to put his name in the transfer portal Friday.
Jefferson, a fourth-year junior, is set to return but Hornsby’s departure leaves Arkansas without an experienced backup quarterback.
Lucas Coley is the lone scholarship quarterback behind Jefferson.
Kade Renfro, the walk-on transfer via Ole Miss who has contributed on the scout team, required knee surgery from an injury during one of the Razorbacks’ on campus bowl practices and will miss spring ball.
It’s anticipated that Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman will eye the transfer portal for a quarterback or perhaps pursue one for the February signing period.
Reid Bauer, the Razorbacks punter and otherwise the holder for freshman Cam Little’s place-kicks, was announced Friday as the national winner of the Morrell Award as the Holder of the Year.
Bauer and turning pro deep snapper Jordan Silver held and snapped for all of Cam Little’s 20 of 24 field goals and 46 of 46 PAT’s and as a holder on fakes threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to tight end Blake Kern and ran 23 yards for a first down.
As a punter Bauer averaged 40.0 net yards per this season and, according to Pro Football Focus, has the eighth-highest grade (86.7) among FBS punters.