By Otis Kirk
Arkansas coach Chad Morris rewarded three players with a scholarship prior to the 2018 season and it’s possible more are given one this year.
He gave linebacker Grant Morgan, kicker Connor Limpert and defensive back D’Vone McClure a scholarship late in the summer just prior to the 2018 season. Each went on to have an impact on Arkansas’ season.
When fans think of an Arkansas walk-on player the obvious one that comes to mind is offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth. But many others have gone on to have a big success both at Arkansas and even at the next level. George Wilson was originally a walk-on wide receiver at Arkansas who went on to play defensive back in the NFL. Brett Goode was a walk-on long snapper who came to the Razorbacks, won the job and a scholarship and then had a long career with the Green Bay Packers.
There’s many other examples of successful walk-on players with the Hogs. The rule was set up if a player was with the team for two years he could be awarded a scholarship and only count against the overall 85 and not the 25-yearly count.
Only Morris and his staff know who may or may not get a scholarship, but here’s a look at some players who could be rewarded. This list will only includ walk-on players who have been at Arkansas a minimum of two years.
Tyson Morris, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 200, Fayetteville, Sophomore
The son of former Razorback basketball Isaiah “Butch” Morris. He played in 11 games last season catching four passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. He also returned two kickoffs for 19 yards. Morris had two receptions for 19 yards in the spring game. He redshirted in 2017 at Arkansas. He was named all-state and all-conference after helping lead Fayetteville to the Class 7A state championship as a senior.
Blake Kern, Tight End, 6-4, 257, Lamar, Junior
Drew praise from the Arkansas coaches all spring about his blocking. In the spring game, Kern had two receptions for 18 yards. He brings good size to the tight end position and is capable of being a very good run blocker and dependable hands. He redshirted in 2016 as a true freshman. At Lamar as a senior, Kern caught 16 passes for 332 yards and nine touchdowns. He rushed 88 times for 675 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, he had 61 tackles, two for loss, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble, one recovered and a pass deflected.
Jack Lindsey, Quarterback, 6-2, 195, Springdale, Junior
While he hasn’t played quarterback in the games, Lindsey has been a valuable member of the team as a holder on kicks. He has been praised for his intelligence by the coaches and in SEC games he’s valuable in that he serves as an emergency quarterback thus allowing the staff to place a player from another position on the active roster. In the spring contest, Lindsey was 5 of 7 passing for 25 yards and also had one carry for three yards. He redshirted as a freshman in 2016. At Springdale as a senior, Lindsey completed 201 of 365 passes for 2,226 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
Brenden Young, Safety, 6-1, 198, Bryant (Ouachita Baptist University Transfer), Senior
A two-year letterman at Arkansas with extensive work on special teams. He drew praise from the coaches for his play at safety this spring. Smart player who caught Bret Bielema’s attention early on in his career at Arkansas. In 2017, he had two tackles on special teams. At OBU in 2015, he played in 11 games and finished with nine tackles, a quarterback hurry and an interception. At Bryant as a senior, Young was an all-state senior. He led the team with 88 tackles including five on special teams. He also had one interception and six pass breakups.
Jordan Silver, Long Snapper, 6-1, 217, Branson (Mo.), Sophomore
Has lettered one year at Arkansas. He redshirted at Arkansas in 2017. He came to the Razorbacks as the No. 13 long snapper in the nation as a senior at Branson. He snapped 44 times as a senior in high school. His snaps to a punter were regularly been clocked at 38 miles per hour. On his snaps to a holder, they averaged .68 seconds in high school.