FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Welcome to SEC Country’s Arkansas football mailbag with beat writer Jason Kersey. In this edition, we discuss the impact of freshman safety Montaric Brown, offensive line coach Kurt Anderson’s job performance and more.
Montaric Brown’s impact on Arkansas
Q: Now that it looks like Montaric Brown is going to make it, what impact do you think he will make as a freshman? — Harold
Arkansas fans got some good news when Montaric Brown’s name was listed in the official media guide earlier this week. Then coach Bret Bielema confirmed they expect him to make it to campus for fall camp, or for the start of classes at the very least.
That is huge. Brown is one of the most talented members of Arkansas’ 2017 signing class and plays a position — safety — where the Hogs need help. But will he contribute this season?
That seems unlikely. I believed for awhile Brown would be one of the incoming freshmen who would make an immediate impact, but the fact he has taken so long to get to campus now leads me to believe he will probably end up redshirting this season. He was already going to need to gain a lot of weight and missing all those weeks with Ben Herbert might be a problem.
Kurt Anderson’s performance as Arkansas’ offensive line coach
Q: I don’t think Anderson did a very good job in his first year and I’m wondering what you think. — Carol
For the first half of last season, things didn’t look great for Kurt Anderson. The offensive line played poorly and Austin Allen was getting pummeled week in and week out. But as the year progressed — and they got the right lineup settled with Johnny Gibson and Brian Wallace — things improved. And now, Arkansas enters 2017 fall camp knowing who the starters will be up front. That is huge, considering last year, Anderson experimented with about 10 different lineups throughout fall camp.
I think Anderson is a good coach and is doing a good job. But I also believe his job performance will be clearer after this season.
Arkansas-South Carolina game will be important
Q: What should we expect from the Arkansas at South Carolina game? — Joey
I think the South Carolina game will be huge. These are both programs that are rebuilding and trying to push toward the top of their respective divisions. Overall, I think they are similar.
It feels like the type of game that could play a big part in the direction that both teams’ seasons end up going.
Arkansas and South Carolina used to be cross-division rivals before Missouri and Texas A&M joined the SEC, so there is some history there, too.
This will be Arkansas’ second SEC game of the 2017 season, and I think both of those first two games will be important. The Hogs open SEC play against A&M — a team they have had a difficult time beating — on Sept. 23, then play New Mexico State out of conference before facing the Gamecocks on Oct. 7.
Jason Kersey will answer reader questions about Arkansas football — or whatever else you want to talk about! — each Friday. To submit a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message to @jasonkersey on Twitter.