Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for the Hawgs Sports Network. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas and previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He was the 2022 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
TE Hasz already having standout spring
Arkansas tight end Luke Hasz lifts weights Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — On March 14, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman identified tight end Luke Hasz as a freshman who was quickly catching on in spring drills.
On Tuesday, following the Razorbacks’ first practice after Spring Break, Pittman indicated Hasz has made even more strides at a position that lacks great experience on the Arkansas roster.
“The one guy that stood out the most in all of them is Luke Hasz. Really good football player,” Pittman said. “A guy that’s catching the ball extremely well, can run, can get open. That’s probably the guy of the young guys that has stood out the most, even though I’ve been really happy with [Jaylon] Braxton and [TJ] Metcalf and RJ Johnson and Dallas [Young]. I’ve been happy with those young guys in the secondary.
“But I think Luke Hasz is that guy that has probably stood out the most in the freshman class.”
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Hasz, a 4-star signee from Bixby, Okla., stands 6-3 and 226 pounds, according to Arkansas’ spring roster. Pittman said Hasz is not the biggest tight end, so continuing to improve as a blocker is essential ahead of the summer months.
“I think the only way he’s ever going to become an on-the-line tight end is if — and he’s got to practice it — he gains some weight. We’ve talked to him about it as well,” Pittman said. “We don’t necessarily want to bring him off the field because he can’t block in-line. He’s willing, he’s very, very strong, comes from a great high school program of lifting.
“We’ve just got to get a little bit of weight on him.”
The freshman is willing to learn and capable of applying what he is taught, Pittman said.
Hasz told Hawgs Illustrated earlier this year the process of becoming a better blocker began before his senior year at Bixby.
"My senior year, I didn't do any of the wide receiver stuff. I'd just go [do drills] with the offensive line," Hasz said. "That helped a lot my senior year. Most of the time I was blocking probably more than getting balls."
The No. 2 prospect in Oklahoma and third-ranked tight end in the country out of high school, according to ESPN, Hasz to this point has also impressed Pittman through his route running. He is said to be tough to tackle as well.
Hasz caught at least 32 passes in each of his final three seasons at Bixby, including 35 as a senior. Nine of those receptions went for a touchdown, and he also caught 3 two-point conversions.
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“He’s exceptional catching the football,” Pittman said. “It just seems like every day he has 6, 8, 10 catches in some type of team setting. He gets open and catches everything that’s close to him.
“I’ve been really, really pleased with him.”
Quarterback KJ Jefferson said after Day 2 of spring drills that Hasz has showcased great ball skills.
“The main thing for Luke is just trying to slow the game down coming from high school into college,” Jefferson said. “It's good getting him in this spring, getting him acclimated to college ball to slow everything down. He's coming along pretty well.
“And those guys in that room, those older guys, are bringing him along as well, being vocal and showing leadership and taking care of him. I'm looking forward to him having a breakout spring.”
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