FAYETTEVILLE — Everyone is familiar with redshirt sophomore safety Jalen Catalon, but it’s also time to get to know redshirt senior wide receiver Kendall Catalon as well.
Kendall has been outstanding this preseason. He even had a 50-yard touchdown reception from KJ Jefferson during Saturday’s scrimmage. Sam Pittman took notice of the touchdown.
“Offensively, Kendall Catalon caught a routine 15-yard out and went for a touchdown,” Catalon said. “That was good to see him make that play.”
Jalen was asked since he is on defense and wants that side of the ball to be successful what were his thoughts when his brother scored the touchdown?
“It was 50-50,” Jalen said. “When he first scored, I looked and was like, ‘Dang.’ But then I turned away and gave him a little smirk. I was happy for him. We’re a team at the end of the day. As a defense, you want to succeed, but at the end of the day, I always celebrate for my blood. For my brother. When he does something good I’m always going to congratulate him. I’m always going to be his No. 1 fan and be there for him, because I know he would do the same for me.
“I think we all try to celebrate both teams’ success. The moment is different, but at the end of the day, we want to see everybody succeed and everybody have their sparks. It’s good to see that from everybody.”
While the touchdown at the scrimmage was impressive, the truth is Kendall has made some very nice plays in many of the practice periods the media is allowed to observe. What has been the difference for him?
“Maturity, I just think he’s grown so much and I just think he’s that guy that wants to come in and do his job.” Jalen said. “And he’s my brother and it’s good to see him kind of get his time, you know, and start getting that buzz he deserves. Hopefully he can take into the season for sure. He’s done some great things and I’m proud of him.”
Jefferson broke down the pass play to Catalon that went for the touchdown.
“Ah, we called the play,” Jefferson said. ” It was a man look, cover zero basically from the defense standpoint. We knew coming in that we were going to have a 1-on-1 matchup with Kendall on the route that he had. Luckily I got the ball to him with great protection from our line.”
Jefferson talked about what he thinks has been the difference for Catalon this preseason.
“He’s had an awesome camp as far as coming in, teaching the young guys, making plays down the field and just being quarterback friendly with us,” Jefferson said. “We break down, we scramble out. He’s always there in that window making sure we get the ball out of our hands.”
Kendall played two seasons at Southern University before transferring to Arkansas. He had to sit out the 2019 season due to transfer rule. He didn’t record any statistics in 2020. At Southern, he led the team in receiving as a sophomore in 2018 when he caught 28 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Also rushed eight times for 69 yards and three touchdowns. In two years at Southern, Catalon caught 56 passes for 758 yards and seven touchdowns.