Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Carolina coaches, receiver have Arkansas ties
South Carolina wide receiver Kane Whitehurst (85) celebrates with teammate wide receiver K.J. Brent (80) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)
FAYETTEVILLE Two coaches and a player with ties to the Arkansas program will return to Fayetteville this weekend.
South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, linebackers coach Kirk Botkin and receiver Kane Whitehurst spent time with the Razorbacks' program prior to their current stints with the Gamecocks.
Ward and Botkin were hired to Bobby Petrino's first staff at Arkansas in 2008. Ward spent just one season as secondary coach before leaving to accept a similar position at South Carolina.
Botkin spent two years as the Razorbacks' defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator before being fired following the 2009 season. He spent three years coaching at Texarkana's Texas High School before being hired at South Carolina prior to last season.
Botkin was also a player at Arkansas and was the school's first all-SEC performer as a tight end in 1992 and 1993. He finished his career with 87 receptions for 819 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Whitehurst redshirted his only season with the Razorbacks in 2011. He was dismissed from the team following an April 1, 2012 arrest. Whitehurst caught a 29-yard touchdown pass in his first game at South Carolina earlier this season.