Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff Award.
Roster cuts may include McKinney
Arkansas' Keaton McKinney warms Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, during practice at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas may not have to count pitcher Keaton McKinney against its 35-man roster this season.
McKinney, a junior, will undergo Tommy John surgery this month to repair a torn ligament in his elbow. The NCAA requires players on scholarship to count toward the official roster even if they are redshirting, but Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said there can be a waiver for players who are injured before the season begins.
"We're working on that," Van Horn said. "The NCAA used to be real strict on that...but they've lightened it up. We don't know yet, but we feel pretty good that we're going to be able to get someone else on (the roster)."
Arkansas will have four junior college transfers and 12 freshmen on its 35-man roster, Van Horn said.
The JUCO transfers are infielders Jared Gates, Hunter Wilson and Jax Biggers, and right-handed pitcher Trevor Stephan.
Eleven of the 12 freshmen are known. They are: left-handed pitchers Matt Cronin, Lucas Krull, Evan Lee and Dylan Thompson; right-handed pitchers Brenden Heiss and Angus Denton; infielders Jordan McFarland, Jaxon Williams, Matt Burch and Jack Kenley; and outfielder Dominic Fletcher.
Gates (first base), Biggers (shortstop) and Fletcher (center field) all are projected starters for next weekend's season-opening series against Miami (Ohio). Stephan may also factor into the Razorbacks' starting pitching rotation.
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