FAYETTEVILLE — Defensive end Zach Williams and offensive tackle Luke Jones are still deciding on a possible return to Arkansas in 2023.
Williams is a senior while Jones is a redshirt senior. Both were prep standouts in Little Rock. Williams attended Joe T. Robinson while Jones played at Pulaski Academy. Williams has never redshirted while Jones did in his first semester at Notre Dame. Following that semester, Jones transferred to Arkansas. Due the NCAA allowing a COVID year both are eligible to play one more season with the Hogs.
“This whole year has been good for me,” Williams said. “I feel like after each year I just feel better and better about myself because of all the growth. I don’t necessarily know [about next year]. I’m going to make that decision at the end of the season. It’s not a decision I should make right now. I’ll think about that at the end of the season.”
This season, Williams has 26 tackles, seven solo, 5.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries. Coming into 2022, Williams had played in 31 games with four starts. He had 57 tackles, 22 solo, seven for loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. Williams and the Hogs are preparing for Saturday’s game against Ole Miss.
“They’re going to be a tough opponent like every SEC team every week,” Williams said. “I do like that I’m familiar with the inside because we’ve played them before. The outside, it’s something different. They’re big dudes, they’re physical, so that’s just going to be a fight we’re going to have to do on Saturday.”
Jones also was asked about a possible return to the Hogs in 2023. He’s the starting left tackle this season.
“I haven’t made a decision,” Jones said. “I’m focused on this season and getting through this game, finishing out 7-5, hopefully 8-5, going to a good bowl game.”
Regardless of if Jones returns for 2023, returning to Arkansas in the Class of 2019 from Notre Dame he feels has served him well.
“My decision to come to Arkansas, transferring back home, was the best decision I’ve ever made,” Jones said. “My heart belongs in Arkansas. I’m so happy that I did it. It feels like forever ago whenever I transferred here from Notre Dame to be honest, but my time here has been nothing short of amazing. And I’m really happy for how this last year has been going.”
In addition to loving his time back at Arkansas, Jones is also all smiles over the frigid weather forecast for Saturday night’s game.
“Yeah, I mean, I love the cold,” Jones said. “As an offensive lineman, as a bigger guy, you love it when it’s not boiling hot outside. This team did great in the cold today as we practiced outside it was 38/39 degrees and it was dark and we were under the lights. I think it’s going to roll over to Saturday and we’re going to do the same and have a great day.”
Saturday night’s kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.