FAYETTEVILLE — When Arkansas signed four-star Quincey McAdoo out of Clarendon they expected him to be catching passes in Razorback Stadium.
Eventually, McAdoo may be a wide receiver and catch passes, but for now he’s a cornerback and will be trying to prevent the Liberty players from having success on offense Saturday. Sam Pittman likes what he has seen from McAdoo at cornerback.
“Well he’s done really well,” Pittman said. “We knew he was talented and things. It was more about learning everything he needed to know to get on the field. But I wanted him to get a lot of reps with the 1s. I don’t know that he’ll start or not, but he’s looked really good this week.”
At Clarendon in 2021, McAdoo completed 7 of 19 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed 82 times for 894 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 34 passes for 617 yards and eight touchdowns. On defense, McAdoo had 58 tackles, two for loss, one interception and returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown. McAdoo originally committed to Florida State prior to switching to the Razorbacks. Any talk during recruiting of him playing defense?
“It was always receiver talk, but you always like a guy that’s a two-way player,” Pittman said. “You can see the toughness that he had playing defense and he was a very, very good defensive back. It’s just we thought that his best quality was on offense and that’s what he wanted to play. But I think he’s enjoying his time over on defense right now. We needed him to go over there. He basically volunteered to go over there and I think it’s going to pay off for us and him.”
McAdoo is competing with redshirt junior Malik Chavis for the starting cornerback spot opposite Dwight McGlothern. Chavis suffered a head injury in the first half against BYU and hasn’t played since then. But Pittman says he is back for Liberty.
“Well, I think this will be my third week in a row that I said I think he’ll be ready to play,” Pittman said. “Yesterday he ran like his hair was on fire. I mean, he was moving. He was happy. I can tell you that he’s officially, officially cleared. He’ll be able to play this week.”
Pittman also talked about Chavis battling with McAdoo for the starting spot.
“I think Chavis will battle with McAdoo to be perfectly honest with you,” Pittman said. “It’s time that we get him out there. He’s a good player and we’ve moved him over there for a reason and has nothing to do with athletic ability, because he’s as talented as anybody over there. It has everything with understanding what to do. I believe we need to increase his reps at practice and give him an opportunity to get on the field.”
McAdoo has caught the eye of middle safety Hudson Clark who is having a good season.
“I feel like he’s a really natural corner, safety, whatever we have him playing,” Clark said. “I think right now he’s at corner, and he’s doing a great job. He’s really physical. He can get out of breaks fast. I think he was talking about he in high school , and I can kind of see it translate over. He’s a beast.”
Clark was asked if he and the other defensive backs have helped McAdoo with the playbook?
“He’s done a great job,” Clark said. “I think communication on the field has really helped him. If it’s (Latavious) Brini or whatever safety is on his side just helping him out and telling him what to play. He knows it, but just that extra help and extra set of confidence before the play goes a long way.”
Wide receiver Ketron Jackson has gone against McAdoo some in practice. He likes what he has seen from the true freshman.
“He’s really just an athlete,” Jackson said. “I’ve watched his film in high school and he played both sides (on offense & defense). You have an athlete like that, he can go from playing receiver to playing DB. He’s been looking great. Me and him have had a few one-on-one matchups. I’m excited for him.”
Linebacker Drew Sanders, who came in at semester with McAdoo, has also been impressed by the former Clarendon great.
“Watching him go through practice, he can do some things that kind of wows you a little bit,” Sanders said. “He’s extremely athletic. Just the way he’s adapted to playing defense so fast, it’s really amazing.”
McAdoo, Chavis and the Razorbacks will host No. 23 Liberty on Saturday with kickoff set for 3 p.m. in Razorback Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.