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Athletic UA commit shines at linebacker

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Friday, September 16, 2022
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and Razorbacks linebacker commit Carson Dean during his March 5 visit.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and Razorbacks linebacker commit Carson Dean during his March 5 visit.

A day before University of Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders had a monster game against South Carolina, future Razorback linebacker Carson Dean did the same.

Sanders was named the Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday after he recorded 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry in the Hogs’ 44-30 victory.

Dean, 6-4, 232 pounds, of Carrollton (Texas) Hebron, had 12 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 2 blocked extra points, 1 quarterback hurry and 1 quarterback hit in a 54-40 victory over V.R. Eaton. He had an interception return for a touchdown that was called back because of penalty.

He played on the edge the first game of the season but moved to middle linebacker against Wylie and Eaton.

“We just felt like he could make more of an impact on the game by being right in the middle of the field and seeing things and being able to diagnose and just go make plays,” Hebron Coach John Towels III said. “I think in the second game, he got a little bit more comfortable.”

Dean recorded 86 tackles, 10 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception that was returned for a touchdown as a junior.

He posses freakish speed for his size. He ran the second leg of the school’s 400-meter relay team and recorded a 10.71-second split. He also ran a leg of the 800 relay and has run a 22.1-second split.

“He’s huge, massive and for that size, he’s very athletic and he runs fast,” Towels said. “He’s covering a lot of grass. It’s just awesome to watch him play and he’s physical, so I think it will translate well to Arkansas and the SEC.”

Dean accumulated scholarship offers from Texas, TCU, Ole Miss, LSU, Baylor, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Indiana and other programs before picking the Hogs in March.

He has 31 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, a sack, 3 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions and 2 blocked extra points in three games.

“He plays so fast, we had to work on slowing him down,” Towels said. “So that’s what we’re working on now because his reaction time … when he sees it, he’s going to go.”

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rated Dean a 3-plus-star prospect in the spring but has upped his ranking to 4-star.

“Great size, could wind up playing with his hand on the ground,” Lemming said. “Explosive moves to the ball, very aggressive with a nonstop motor. He’s better than listed. Coaches rave about him.”

Towels said Dean’s work ethic and attitude are tremendous.

“He just shows up to work every day,” Towels said. “He comes and works hard and doesn’t say a lot. He just plays hard and he leads by actions. He always has a smile on his face and he plays whistle to whistle. He gives everything he has. That’s what it takes to get to the next level.”

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