FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman and Arkansas have three remaining scholarships for the Class of 2021 and at least one could be used for a defensive end.
But as far as the returning players on the squad the team has a lot of experience returning at the end spots on defense. Dorian Gerald recently announced he would return for his extra senior season allowed by the NCAA due to COVID. That was a good turn of events for Arkansas.
In addition, Julius Coates wasn’t with the team the last couple of weeks and didn’t plan to play in the bowl game. However, it now appears Coates plans to play his senior year for Arkansas. If Gerald can stay healthy and Coates has everything worked out then both could be great help this fall.
Last year, Coates played in seven games. He finished with 18 tackles, including 11 solo and three for loss. He added two sacks, a pair of quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Gerald saw action in six games. He had five tackles, including three solo, 1.5 for loss. He also had 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry. Prior to 2020, Gerald had played in nine games at Arkansas with three starts. He had 22 tackles, including eight solo, 2.5 for loss, one fumble recovery, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup.
Zach Williams will be a junior in the fall. The former Joe T. Robinson standout played in nine games this past fall. He had 22 tackles, including nine solo, 1.5 for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Williams played as a true freshman in 2019 finishing with 12 tackles in nine games.
Mataio Soli is another junior in the fall who has played his first two seasons on campus. In nine games this fall, Soli had five tackles, including one solo, 0.5 tackle for loss, and a quarterback hurry. As a freshman in 2019, Soli had 19 tackles, 1.5 for loss and two quarterback hurries.
Eric Gregory was a redshirt freshman this past fall and emerged to have a very good season. In nine games, Gregory had 27 tackles, 12 solo, three for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception and one quarterback hurry.
Arkansas will also have Blayne Toll and Jashaud Stewart as redshirt freshmen this fall. Both are talented players. Morgan Hanna will be a redshirt sophomore walk-on this fall. David Porter will be a redshirt senior from Joe T. Robinson.
Arkansas’ Defensive Ends
Julius Coates, 6-6, 289, Senior, East Mississippi Community College
Dorian Gerald, 6-3, 288, Redshirt Senior, College of the Canyons (Calif.)
Eric Gregory, 6-4, 283, Redshirt Sophomore, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Morgan Hanna, 6-4, 221, Redshirt Sophomore, Greenwood
David Porter, 6-3, 226, Redshirt Senior, Joe T. Robinson
Mataio Soli, 6-4, 235, Junior, Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County
Jashaud Stewart, 6-2, 223, Redshirt Freshman, Jonesboro
Blayne Toll, 6-5, 234, Redshirt Freshman, Hazen
Zach Williams, 6-4, 246, Junior, Joe T. Robinson