FAYETTEVILLE — Zach Williams is one of the super seniors at Arkansas this spring and he’s also part of a talented group of defensive ends.

Williams had a very productive 2022 season. He finished with 34 tackles, 11 solo, 6.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries. On Saturday, Williams talked about why he chose to return for another season.

“I feel like it’s just a great team, and I feel like I needed one more year to perfect my craft,” Williams said. “I really wanted to come back for that. I didn’t want to go anywhere else. As you know, I already had good roots here and I know the coaches. I was going to be with Coach (Deke) Adams for another year, so I thought that would be beneficial for me and I decided to stay.”

The defense drew a lot of praise for the scrimmage on April 1. This past Saturday Williams reflected on how he felt the defense performed.

“I know with the D-line especially, there’s a lot of competition,” Williams said. “We all love each other, we all push each other, so when you see one person doing good, it’s all competition. Who can get the most sacks and stuff like that. So I feel like with us, that’s how we’re going. I feel like with the whole defense, I feel like we’re just meshing together. We ran some different plays and I felt like we were going to mess up, but we really didn’t. We did pretty good, so just like today, we were just flying around, beating people up. It’s just a good mesh, we’re all coming together pretty good.”

Other than Adams, all the defensive coaches are new including coordinator Travis Williams. Zach talked about the new schemes.

“They’re just, they’re simple,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of new schemes and stuff like that, but they’re pretty simple and you can relate them to the stuff that you usually do. And the coaches, they just break things down one-by-one. So no matter how you understand things, they fit it towards you. That’s something I applaud them for, because some people just learn differently. They know how to do that.”

Arkansas has at least five other ends in addition to Williams who are capable of making an impact this fall. John Morgan III, Trajan Jeffcoat, Jashaud Stewart, Nico Davillier and Landon Jackson all have various strengths they bring to the position.

“Yeah, it’s pretty beneficial because when you have three sets of guys who have similar and great abilities you’re never going to get tired,” Williams said. “So you can always play fast and you can always play strong. You can always rely that the next person coming in is going to do their job and you can go in and do yours and they rely on you. It’s a good bond. I’ve never really had that experience before but now that I have it I kind of like it. We all love each other and it just brings great competition.”

Arkansas will have two new offensive tackles this season. Luke Jones and Dalton Wagner have used up their eligibility. Among the candidates are Devon Manuel and Patrick Kutas are two who drew mention from Williams.

“They’re getting better every day,” Williams said. “You know, with spring ball, we start off a little rocky. We had a little time off and then we just get better and better. I’m really impressed with Devon. You know, he lost all that weight and became a lot faster, a lot quicker. And Kutas, he’s just strong as all get out. Once he gets his hands on you, there ain’t no coming off. They’re just growing in their craft and I’m just proud of what they’re doing. And it’s helping to make me better.”

The spring scrimmage will be Saturday at noon. It’s free and open to the public. Arkansas will also practice today, Thursday and Friday before finishing up the spring on Saturday.