ROGERS, Ark. — Four-star safety signee Montaric Brown will not be with the Arkansas Razorbacks when fall camp starts Thursday, coach Bret Bielema told reporters Monday.
Speaking to the media before playing in the annual NWA Razorback Club Golf Tournament, Bielema said Brown is “close” to qualifying academically but likely won’t arrive on campus until at least 10 days after the start of fall camp.
Brown signed with the Hogs out of Ashdown (Ark.) High School. He committed to the Razorbacks last summer and stayed committed despite some late flirting with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State a few weeks before signing day.
As a hard-hitting safety, Brown was expected to possibly compete for immediate playing time in the Razorbacks’ defensive backfield. The safety positions have been a bit of a liability the last two seasons for the Hogs. But Brown is very thin, meaning he really could have used the summer in strength coach Ben Herbert’s program.
Bielema said he would reserve judgment on whether Brown would be capable of playing this season or not. He said that like every other true freshman, he and the other coaches would judge Brown based on what he can handle mentally and physically after he arrives.
“We have a pretty strong DB class,” Bielema said. “It’s not like a do-or-die situation for him to get here.”
The coach added that he fully expects Brown will be on campus by the start of the university’s fall semester at the very latest.
JUCO defensive lineman Melvin Johnson is the only 2017 Arkansas signee who absolutely will not make it in time for this season. Despite not being on campus yet, Arkansas included Brown in the media guide.