Former players spoke up for Enos

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, February 5, 2023
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen talks with offensive coordinator Dan Enos during a game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Fayetteville.
( Ben Goff)
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen talks with offensive coordinator Dan Enos during a game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — A large group of former Arkansas football players posted supportive messages on social media when Dan Enos was confirmed to have taken the offensive coordinator job for Coach Sam Pittman, his second stint in the role after working the post from 2015-17 under Bret Bielema.

One of them was offensive lineman Johnny Gibson, who wrote, “The biggest [Enos] quote that I tell my players is ‘potential and 2 bucks can get you a cup of coffee.’ I catch myself telling my best players this when they fail to work hard. Pittman and Enos back together is [good].”

Enos was asked about the outpouring of support from his former pupils, like quarterbacks Brandon Allen and Austin Allen, tailback Jonathan Williams, receiver Drew Morgan and others like offensive lineman Dan Skipper.

“That means a lot, you know, first of all, that Johnny Gibson was listening to me,” Enos said. “Some of the things I’m like, ‘Wow, maybe they did listen.’ But you know, just like Brandon Allen and Austin Allen, I was able to … we’ve stayed in contact.

“They texted and they were excited. Dan Skipper, he texted me, ‘Please tell me this is real,’ or something like that. And just all those guys. It means a lot as a coach. These guys will tell you that when you have players that you coached say things maybe that you said, it means a lot, but just more importantly, just excited and happy for you just to have a relationship for you.”

Enos said he still maintains relationships with his quarterback coach at Michigan State, Morris Watts, as well as his first quarterback at Lakeland College in 1994, Mark Navarro.

“That’s what coaching is about, really. I mean, we’re here to coach them and all that, but it’s about lifelong relationships,” Enos said.

“That makes this journey and this profession, all the hours, all the hard work and all the things that go into, it just makes it that much more fruitful just to have them. … Every day we come to work, man, we don’t want to let anybody down.

“We want to do the very best we can and make the people of this state proud of the guys we coach and how we coach them, and we’re going to put our best foot forward every day. It’s great to have support of guys that used to be here, and those are some great players too, and they were fun to coach.”

KJ’s close

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson will enter his senior season with a solid shot at taking down a handful of UA career records.

The record targets include passing yards, touchdowns and completions, total yardage, completion percentage and touchdown responsibility.

Jefferson has 5,816 passing yards, 48 touchdown passes and 436 completions in 32 career games. The school records in those categories are 7,765 yards by Tyler Wilson (2008-12), 64 touchdown passes by Brandon Allen (2012-15) and 593 completions by Wilson.

Jefferson has passed and rushed for a combined 7,245 yards of total offense. The school record belongs to Matt Jones, who amassed 8,392 yards from 2001-04.

The senior from Sardis, Miss., is responsible for 67 touchdowns — 48 passing and 19 rushing — and is 10 behind Matt Jones’ record.

Jefferson has completed 65.5% of his passes (436 of 666). Feleipe Franks hit 68.5% of his passes in his one season in 2020.

Split duties

Co-defensive coordinator Marcus Woodson described the work he and Deron Wilson will do in the secondary as a partnership.

“We’re two different people, but we’re going to be one as we work together in the secondary,” Woodson said. “It’s going to be times when I take the corners, he takes the safeties, and there will be times when I take the safeties and he takes the corners.

“It’s really going to be us working together and just finding what the best fit is for the players that put them in the best position to be successful.”

Natural pitch

New secondary assistant coach Deron Wilson said the Razorbacks being the main attraction in Arkansas is the kind of pitch he’ll use in recruiting.

“If you go to Georgia, the Atlanta Braves, right?” he said. “If you start talking about Texas, you have the [Dallas] Cowboys, the Houston Texans, you have all these pro teams.

“In the state of Arkansas, you have the University of Arkansas. It’s the flagship school, where kids want to come here growing up. … Your No. 1 pitch is we are the pro team. The players, the coaches, they want to see us. That’s the No. 1 pitch.

“And some of the winning tradition you have, going back to my playing days, when you’re talking Ryan Mallett and Darren McFadden, a lot of those guys, you start talking about the winning tradition, there’s a lot of things you can sell when you’re talking about this university.”


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