Departures

I understand the concern over the departures these past few days. I do.

That said, there are exactly TWO that took me by surprise. Foucha and Brooks.

Literally everyone else could have been predicted. Pretty easily.

Busta and Ridgeway declaring for the draft? Not even a mild surprise.

Malik transferring? I have been telling my best friends all year that Malik would transfer. While there does seem to be some sentiment on this board that Malik has more potential (which I do not agree with at all), KJ is already being touted as one of the top three QBs in the SEC next year. By talking heads. Not Arkansas fans. KJ also has two years ahead of him entrenched as the starter. I am not saying that. Pittman has pretty much said it. Malik wants to play. I can’t blame him. Even if KJ only stays one year…Malik doesn’t know that’s gonna happen. So…not shocking. At all.

Which leave Foucha and Brooks. I am surprised about them. But you know what? I’ll bet Mizzou was shocked when their two left them and came to us. I’ll bet OU was shocked to lose their top returning WR. To US.

This is the new world of college football. Like it or hate it. It is what it is. We benefitted from the portal last year. Our whole starting D-line came from the portal. Now we get stung by the portal.

But the cycle isn’t over. Let’s wait and see who Pittman brings in before we despair.

Meanwhile…I am gonna revel in a 9-4 season that none of us (even me being the most overly optimistic fan you can imagine) saw coming. Maybe watch a few replays. Mixed in with a Hallmark movie with the wife (don’t hate…you go through a dance with cancer like we have…you NEED movies you know end happy!).

Happy New Year to all.

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You mean as defensive coordinator?

Very, very well said, Maestro. I know I quote Coach Richardson a lot, but one of the most brilliant things he ever said was, “all sickness is not death.” God knows you know very well how true that is. The Sun will come up tomorrow, fellow Razorback fans, and who knows, we might actually see addition by subtraction. Keep the faith, and Go Hogs!

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Good thoughts and well said. It’s good to be reminded and stop and count our blessings.
May you have a blessed Happy New Year.

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No maestro clearly the sky is falling! :rofl: Thanks for bringing some pragmatism that this board is hurting for at the moment.

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Totally agree, good post! WPS

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Great post, Robbie. You came up with pretty much what I would have said if I had had time in the last 48 hours to sit down and compose a post on this topic.

Except for the Hallmark part…

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Another quote from one of our former coaches Lou Holtz . “It’s never as good as it seems , nor bad as it seems, somewhere in between reality lies”

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Very good post. Only two of the transfers were big contributors. Who didn’t expect Malik to leave? He wasn’t taking over KJ’s spot.

There’s other reasons for guys leaving other than playing time. Academics is definitely one. Some are told they’re not going to play and to look elsewhere.

Reps who get NIL deals for players can also shop them to other schools for better deals.

More than 3,000 have entered the portal. I bet it tops 5,000 at some point.

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Great post, I’m not surprised nor panicked about anything in college sports. I just hope the Hog exodus has stopped for this year.

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However, there must be a common reason for so many departures of defensive starters for 2022 - either rumors of a coaching/coordinator departure or dislike of a particular coach/coordinator.

All that we have read & heard was that the players like CSP & most of the coaching staff. Hopefully no issues or departures by HY, CSP, Odom, or Briles.

The outlook for this team after this past season is all positive with more UofA players becoming NFL caliber which reflects great talent. With a great returning QB & offense, expect improvement going into 2022. Wish that the reason for this is that we have an incredibly talented incoming class of players who may push some of our defensive starters to back-up roles.

If we are competitive on NIL $, then there must be a common reason for this mass exodus on defense. Departures due to draft potential or too much great talent are positives but so many exiting via transfer portal is concerning.

If there is a common reason that involves something someone(s) on the staff is doing wrong, then I understand a level of concern. There’s been speculation on whether that might be the case, but rumors about actual examples have been pretty hard to find.

On the other hand, if a guy wants to start and his position coach/DC tells him either that probably won’t happen or he will have to go through the spring/fall camp and fight it out, a veteran player may go look for a better chance to get what he thinks he’s due based on past performance.

I could see that as being what happened with both Brooks and Foucha. They both had good to great bowl games, but neither’s future as a Hog screamed “big year coming”. Both are good players and I think would have been solid contributors next year. But if they wanted more first contract NFL money/ a better shot at the next level they may have needed to try for something bigger.

Brooks had been in and out of the lineup as the nickel back, and there was going to be heavy competition for that job in the spring. He’s a good player, but he’s probably not the head and shoulders best player for that role in 2022.He’s probably already asked around about draft status, and probably was told he needs to show more on the field to improve position/chances to make a roster-and you have to be on the field a lot and playing a role where you get noticed for that to happen.

Foucha who always has had some flash to his game, got to do more this year after Catalon got hurt. Catalon’s back for 2022 and the odds are that because he’s a better athlete and has superb football smarts, he’s the one who will stand out in the secondary, not Foucha. Slusher also improved a lot in the second half of the season, and Blair will be back. So if Joe stayed, he was a lot more likely to be “starter” or “valued contributor” rather than “star”. Joe needs a big year to improve his draft stock, and it was probably going to be tough for him to put together anything much better than what he did this year if he remained at Arkansas.

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Unless Malik has been promised a starting position somewhere, this seems short sighted and foolish.

How long should he wait for his turn?

It seems obvious. It is likely that KJ is gone after this year and Malik sure seems to have been being groomed to step up to starting position-SEEMS. Again, UNLESS he has been sold a bill of goods as being the likely starter wherever he ends up then this is approaching stupidville.

Precisely Richard. We all speculate that KJ will leave after next year. But we don’t know that for a fact. Pittman said on his radio show for all fans to hear that “KJ was a great QB *and we have him for two more years.” *

Once I heard that statement, I said to myself “Hornsby is therefore gone.”
It was predictable and I am not gonna say the wrong thing for Malik.

Coley will head into the spring the clear #2. let’s hope Renfro gets healthy. And I suspect a portal QB will be in the works for depth. Or maybe an HS kid.

I trust Pittman, I will say that. After this year? He earned alot of trust.

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Malik being the starting qb when KJ leave is not written in stone. A transfer or Recruit could come to campus and beat him out. His waiting one year then would be all for nothing.

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In today’s environment, if KJ has another great year with no serious injuries, I will be shocked to see him return. Unless someone or some company chooses to underwrite him- as in making him rich. I don’t imagine Malik has jumped without assurances from some school- if he did he is stupid. It is hard to fix stupid.

Great post, Maestro.

I’m not sure why everyone is surprised about Greg Brooks. I like him and wish he would stay. But his time at Arkansas has been very up and down. Lost his starting spot a few times. I believe he struggled quite a bit in 2020. So the Foucha news really caught me off guard, but Brooks did not at all.

And honestly, Maestro, I think I could challenge you on the “most overly optimistic fan” thing. I try to act tough and realistic sometimes, but it’s all a performance.

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I know we as fans can be biased, but where the heck would KJ be going after this year?
Are y’all saying he’s an NFL level QB? Seriously?