Kevin Richardson granted 6th season for 2018

By: Matt Jones
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Arkansas defensive back Kevin Richardson returns a fumble for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Oxford, Miss. The Razorbacks won 38-37.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas defensive back Kevin Richardson returns a fumble for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Oxford, Miss. The Razorbacks won 38-37.

— Arkansas defensive back Kevin Richardson will be eligible to play this fall after receiving a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

Richardson was awarded a sixth year Thursday, an Arkansas team spokesperson said. He is the second Arkansas player to receive a sixth year, along with running back Kody Walker in 2016.

"Finally official man, ready to put that Razorback logo on for one more year!" Richardson said on his Twitter account. "Y’all in for something special this year Hog fans!"

Richardson, a Jacksonville native who came to Arkansas as a walk-on, redshirted his first season in 2013 and suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of 2016 when he tore his pectoral muscle and required surgery.

Last month the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow a sixth year to players who were redshirted their first season on campus and later missed another year because of injuries. The change was proposed by the Sun Belt Conference.

Previously, NCAA bylaw 12.8.1.5.1 tended to favor only players who had missed two seasons because of injury, or due to circumstances beyond an athlete's control.

Richardson went through Senior Day ceremonies last November, but continued to practice with the Razorbacks this spring as a nickel back and outside linebacker. He was permitted to practice because he was enrolled in a graduate program, but he did not go through contact drills because he was nursing a sore shoulder.

Richardson has played in 29 games and started 15 times at nickel back or safety during his career. Last season he was voted team captain, had 50 tackles and three interceptions, and returned a fumble for a 22-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Razorbacks' 38-37 comeback win at Ole Miss.

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