Sam Pittman thinks linebacker room is the perfect example of what a powerful program can do for pigs | KLRT
FAYETTEVILLE – When Sam Pittman was hired, one thing he made clear in one of his first media conferences was that he wanted a strong intervention program in Arkansas.
Over the years, several walk-in rookies have gone on to great careers with the Hogs and some even in the NFL. The current linebacker hall is a perfect example of what this can do for Arkansas. Hayden Henry came to Arkansas with the promise of a scholarship after one semester. Grant Morgan has come in as a favorite replacement with the intention of showing Arkansas what he can do.
These two, combined with the former four-star Bumper Pool, are as good a lineback line as any group in the country. Some teams may have better prospects in the NFL as a linebacker, but these three have formed the solid foundation of Pittman’s defense for the past two years. Henry was from Pulaski Academy and Morgan from Greenwood. Pittman spoke about his linebacker squad on Wednesday.
“Yeah, that’s a really great observation,” Pittman said. “It’s kind of Arkansas and I say it in a great way. Kids, every time you step on it you’ve got a chip on your shoulder and you know you’ve got something to prove. The difference between these guys a lot of the time you walk around and you will put it on the stock market and it will bring it home on you. He finished, that was his goal. You get walks in your condition which is just part of the process. They get there and then they take it to a new level. Obviously, Henry did and Grant certainly did. But yes it is a good observation and it is true. It really is.
This season, the linebacker line is 1-2 and 4 on the tackling board. Pool leads the way with 38 while Henry is next with 31 and Morgan fourth with 25.
Prior to this season, Pool, who was a four-star rookie at Lucas, TX Lovejoy, had played 31 games with 25 starts. He had 224 tackles, including 92 in solo, 15.5 for losses, one sack, one fumble recovered, three quarters in a hurry and 14 missed passes.
Morgan had played 45 games before this season with nine starts, all in 2020 under Pittman. He had 212 tackles including 79 solo and 16.5 for losses, Morgan had four sacks, a forced fumble, six quarterbacks and nine assists.
Henry entered 2021 after playing 44 games with four starts. He made 83 tackles including 42 solo and 5.5 for losses. Henry had two sacks, a forced fumble and three breakage passes.
Going forward, another linebacker to watch is former Little Rock Christian star Jackson Woodard. He’s a freshman in a red shirt who played four games in 2020 and made two tackles. This season in three games, Woodard has two tackles. As a senior, he helped lead his team to a 13-1 record with the only loss in the state title game. That season, he made 153 tackles, two sacks and four forced fumbles.
In the class of 2022, Arkansas has a commitment from Pulaski Academy linebacker Mason Schueck, 6-3, 220, to continue with the Hogs. Schueck is someone who does it on and off the pitch. He has a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 and a 33 on the ACT.
The No.8 Razorbacks will be in Georgia on Saturday with a kickoff at 11 a.m. and televised on ESPN.