When Arkansas wide receiver Jadon Haselwood looks across the field on Saturday, he will see a man that used to be one of his coaches and a quarterback who used to throw him the ball.

Former Oklahoma and Georgia assistant Shane Beamer is now the head coach at South Carolina and former Sooners signal caller Spencer Rattler is now the Gamecocks’ quarterback.

Arkansas (1-0) and South Carolina (1-0) meet in the SEC opener for both on Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN  in Fayetteville.

“They’re both some competitive guys,” Haselwood said. “I liked Coach Beamer. He was a great coach when I was there. It’s gonna be fun. I can’t wait to have a face off with him.”

Beamer, whose team beat Georgia State 35-14 last Saturday, stuck around for Oklahoma’s bowl game in 2020 even after he took the head coaching job at South Carolina.

“…I respect him,” Haselwood said. “When he left he actually stayed for the bowl game, and he was there even though he had got that head coach job, he stayed. After the season was over, that’s when he shifted over and went. And he actually kept it real with his players that was there and I kind of respected that.”

Haselwood played three seasons with Rattler, who was 23-of-37 passing for 227 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown in the win over Georgia State.

He hasn’t shared any inside knowledge on Rattler with Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom.

“Coach Odom, he’s pretty confident,” Haselwood said.  “I’m confident as well in my defense. I doubt he needs me. He’s a mastermind so he’s gonna do what he gotta do and I’m gonna do my job.”

Beamer also coached another Arkansas wide receiver in Matt Landers, who started his career at Georgia before transferring to Toledo and then matriculating to Fayetteville for this season.

“Both starting receivers I’ve been with,” Beamer said. “Matt Landers was with us at Georgia and he’s had a great career. Transferred in there and he’s doing a nice job for them. Jadon Haselwood, I was with Jadon at Oklahoma. He’s doing a great job for them as well. So we’ve got a real challenge.”

Beamer is impressed with Arkansas, who beat Cincinnati 31-24 last Saturday.

“Excited to get out here and open up SEC play this week against a really, really good team,” Beamer said. “Beat a really good Cincinnati team on Saturday. So many weapons. Offensively, you just look at them. The quarterback, 245-pound quarterback and a 225-pound running back. Big, physical offensive line. 6’9” offensive tackle out there. They are large, obviously. They have weapons also. The tight end is a really good player. They have multiple backs.”

Beamer has great respect for Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman, who was an assistant when Beamer was at Georgia.

“They do a great job coaching, for one,” Beamer said. “Sam’s an offensive line guy. You see that when you watch them play. They’re big, they’re physical. With their size up front, they’re able to cover people up.”

“…They do a great job schematically, as well. They use tempo, so you’ve got to be able to handle that. They’ll get in multiple formations. They’ve got motions. You’ve got to be disciplined with your eyes against the guys because they’re big and physical, but now they’re also going fast.”

Beamer hopes his team fares better than it did back in 2017 when Arkansas rushed for 542 yards in whipping South Carolina 48-36 in Fayetteville. 

Darren McFadden had 321 of those and Felix Jones 166 as both topped 1,000 yards for the season in that game.

 Peyton Hillis added 35 yards and Michael Smith 32  in the win on a night when Arkansas passed for 109 yards, 23 on a throw from McFadden.

“McFadden, Peyton Hillis and Felix Jones, yeah I think they each ran for 500 yards a piece,” Beamer said. “That was a long night in Fayetteville and hopefully we play a lot better defensively than what we did that night.”

 “My favorite memory of that game, I was coaching defense and special teams, I am a young coach, my first year on staff. I am coaching defense, but I am taking a backseat to the older coaches on that defensive staff. 

“I will never forget. This was after they have gone up and down the field on us. I don’t want to name names, but the defensive coordinator is on the field and he is talking to one of the coaches in the press box and this was early first quarter and we can’t stop them. It’s obvious. The defensive coordinator is talking to one of the coaches in the box and the coach in the box is like, ‘Hang on a second, don’t say anything, I am up here drawing.’ 

“The coordinator is like, ‘You are up there drawing?’ He is like, ‘Yeah, I am putting together a plan that we can do some stuff to try and stop them.’ I am like, ‘Oh crap, if we are up here drawing stuff up on paper in the middle of the first quarter, we are in for a long night.’ And we were. That was a long night in Fayetteville.”

Beamer is just fine with an 11 a.m. start as his team practices in the mornings.

“11 a.m. is right up our alley because we’re in the building everyday before that,” Beamer said. “11 a.m. central time is 12 eastern, so we’re basically done with practice everyday by the time kickoff will be Saturday…Our last early kickoff was against North Carolina last year and we played pretty dang good.”