Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Haselwood, Hornsby among Monday moves
Arkansas receiver Jadon Haselwood runs with the ball during a game against Liberty on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas quarterback Malik Hornsby said on Monday that he will enter his name in the transfer portal for the second consecutive year, while junior receiver Jadon Haselwood announced he was opting out of a bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Razorbacks tight end Erin Outley also announced via social media he will be entering the portal, joining former Parkview High teammate James Jointer, the freshman running back who declared his intention to transfer last week, and defensive back Jacorrei Turner.
Haselwood announced his move at nearly 10 p.m., writing on Twitter, “I am Calling all Hogs when I say thank you to my coaches, my teammates and every fan who has made this season special.”
He also thanked Coach Sam Pittman receiver coach Kenny Guiton and running backs coach Jimmy Smith, his high school coach at Cedar Grove, Ga.
Player movement is expected for much of the week for the Razorbacks and other programs across the country into the portal, which was created in October 2018.
Pittman, who fired strength and conditioning coach Jamil Walker on Saturday, the day after he said the Hogs were “out-physicaled” in a 29-27 loss to Missouri.
Two potential candidates to replace Walker are former Razorbacks in Kiero Small, who was interviewing on campus Monday, and Tenarius “Tank” Wright. A source said there are other candidates as well.
Small, who played fullback for the Razorbacks from 2012-13, is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Michigan under Ben Herbert under Coach Jim Harbaugh. He was a seventh-round draft choice by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 and also signed with the Cleveland Browns and his home-town Baltimore Ravens during a two-year NFL career spent mostly on practice squads. He has also worked at Arkansas as a graduate assistant on the strength and conditioning staff.
Wright, who played linebacker and defensive end from 2008-12, is the second-year head strength and conditioning coach at Illinois for Bret Bielema. Wright spent the 2014-17 seasons at Arkansas as assistant strength and conditioning coach for Bielema under Herbert, before going to Michigan with Herbert for the 2018-19 season. The Memphis native was defensive line coach at Army in 2020 before taking the head strength and conditioning job with the Illini in 2021.
Additionally, the Hogs’ all-time tackles leader Bumper Pool, who underwent hip surgery last Wednesday, bid his farewell to Arkansas fans over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Hornsby, a 6-2, 186-pound redshirt sophomore, also entered his name last year but withdrew it a few days later after talking to Coach Sam Pittman and receiving assurances he would compete for the starting quarterback job with KJ Jefferson.
Hornsby was 13-of-27 passing for 268 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, and had 172 rushing yards on 31 carries during the regular season.
Hornsby thanked Coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles in a Twitter post to announce his decision.
“Thank you Razorback Nation,” Hornsby wrote. “My journey here as a Razorback has come to an end. I will make the best decision for me and my future. I am entering my name in the transfer portal.”
The Missouri City, Texas, native wound up making a splash at wide receiver in spring drills and splitting practice time at quarterback and wideout in the early going in 2022.
Hornsby had 2 carries for 21 yards and 2 catches for 8 yards in light use through the first five games. However, he came in as a backup to Cade Fortin behind the injured Jefferson in a Week 6 loss at Mississippi State and completed 8 of 17 passes for 234 yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions while also rushing for 114 yards on 8 carries.
After that game, Coach Sam Pittman said Hornsby would work only at quarterback as the second-teamer behind Jefferson.
Hornsby got a start against LSU with Jefferson sidelined by a shoulder injury and struggled with 4-of-9 passing for 24 yards and 18 carries for 37 yards. He was sacked four times, lost a fumble and slipped down for lost yardage on a key fourth down play before giving way to Fortin.
Outley, a 6-4, 255-pound redshirt freshman, was recovering from a knee injury throughout the 2021 season, and the former three-star signee has not played this year.
Previous Arkansas players to depart the team or announce their decisions to transfer are senior receiver Warren Thompson, safety Myles Slusher, running back Javion Hunt, receiver Jaquayln Crawford, defensive back Chase Lowery, and tight end Dax Courtney (medical).
Pool reached out to the Arkansas fan base to post an update the day after he missed the finale at Missouri due to surgery to repair a labrum muscle injury in one of his hips.
Pool, a fifth-year senior from Lucas, Texas, addressed his remarks to Razorback Nation, writing, “You have given me the opportunity to live out a dream, that inspired me as a young kid to love the game of football. This past week I underwent the first of two surgeries to repair my hips.
“Arkansas Football has many great years ahead and it’s been an honor to be a part of Razorback history. As to my future, I am going to spend the upcoming months rehabbing to get back to full health.”
Pool was elected a team captain in 2022 and surpassed Tony Bua to become the school’s all-time tackle leader with 441 in parts of five seasons, including back-to-back 100-tackle years in 2020 and 2021 with a career-high 125 in 2021.
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