HOOVER, Ala. — Arkansas Razorbacks defensive line signee Melvin Johnson failed to qualify academically and will not be with the team this fall, coach Bret Bielema said at SEC Media Days.
The only other 2017 signee who isn’t on campus yet — 4-star safety Montaric Brown — is “doing everything he has to do” to get to Fayetteville by fall camp, Bielema said.
Johnson signed with Arkansas out of Riverside (Calif.) Community College. He was named a 2016 first-team All-American by the California Community College Football Coaches Association after recording 37 tackles with 9 for a loss.
Bielema said that there is still a chance that Johnson could qualify by January and join the team next spring, although he didn’t sound hopeful.
Brown was one of Arkansas’ highest-rated 2017 signees. The Ashdown, Ark., native is “so close,” Bielema said, adding that he expects Brown to join the team before fall camp begins, but that it still could be the start of the semester before he makes it.
The “worst case” scenario, Bielema said, was that Brown wouldn’t be with the team until January.