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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

The X-factors: Razorbacks to look out for

Courtesy of Gunnar Rathbun at Arkansas Athletics
Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson (#1) during a game against Ole Miss on Oct. 7 in University, MS.

The Arkansas Razorbacks are in the midst of a disappointing stretch. After rattling off two wins to start the season, Arkansas has failed to win a single game since, putting itsrecord at 2-4. Despite the disappointing start to the season, Arkansas still has talent the Crimson Tide must be wary of. Here is a preview of some of the top Razorback players the Crimson Tide will face.   

KJ Jefferson, QB, and Raheim Sanders, RB 

Why are two different positions grouped? KJ Jefferson and Raheim Sanders have been the engineers behind the Arkansas offense for multiple seasons; however, in 2023, they’ve struggled to get going.  

Jefferson has failed to continue his play from the last few seasons, and Sanders has battled injury in the first half of the season.  

Jefferson, hailing from Mississippi, is a formidable running threat at the quarterback position. Like Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, when Jefferson gets the ball in the open field, he could run it all the way every time. So far in the season, Jefferson has struggled with staying protected, as he’s taken 23 sacks from opposing defenses.  

Sanders, nicknamed “Rocket,” has the force of a rocket with the football in his hand. Sanders runs like an old-school running back who can truck any defender at will.  

Despite the season’s rocky start, Sanders said every game is a clean slate.  

“[We’re] treating every game like 0-0,” Sanders said. “The past is the past; we just need to look one game ahead.” 

Andrew Armstrong, WR 

With Jefferson and Sanders struggling so far this year, Texas A&M Commerce transfer Andrew Armstrong has been an apparent bright spot on the Arkansas offense. 

So far this season, the redshirt senior Armstrong has totaled 437 receiving yards and four touchdowns for the Razorbacks and has become their leading receiver.  

The transfer, hailing from Dallas, Texas, had a successful high school career at Bishop Dunne High School but was overlooked as a recruit, committing to the Lions.  

Despite being doubted as a high school player, Armstrong says he doesn’t let the past get to him. 

“I always play with the chip on my shoulder,” Armstrong said. “I practice every day like it’s a game and play every game like a championship.”  

Armstrong’s play has been exciting for Arkansas fans to watch and will play a key role as the Razorbacks look to upset the Crimson Tide in Week 7.  

Dwight McGlothern, DB 

While only playing a little over 150 snaps this season, former LSU transfer Dwight McGlothern has had a strong season at the cornerback position for Arkansas.  

McGlothern, the cornerback placed on the preseason Bronko Nagurski award watch list, has totaled 12 tackles and two interceptions in 2023. According to Pro Football Focus, McGlothern is the second-highest-graded defensive back in the country. 

McGlothern could have entered the NFL draft after a very successful junior season, but elected to stay due to some opportunities he thought he missed.  

“I wanted to go,” McGlothern said. “In the second half of the season, I left so much on the table. Now that I have another chance, I want to make sure I do everything right.”  

Last season against Alabama, McGlothern recorded an interception. The senior is set to play against the Crimson Tide again this week after suffering a concussion against Texas A&M in Week 5.  

Jaheim Thomas, LB 

A theme of excellent transfer players continues with linebacker Jaheim Thomas, who is a redshirt junior in his first season with Arkansas from Cincinnati.  

Thomas, a redshirt senior, was with the Cincinnati football program in 2021 when it became the first Group of Five program to make the College Football Playoff and faced off against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. He then transferred to Arkansas in 2023. 

So far this season, Thomas has totaled 59 tackles and three credited sacks through six total games.  

According to PFF, Thomas is the Razorbacks top pass rusher this season. Alabama’s offensive line has struggled with discipline so far this season, so if Arkansas can cause havoc with Thomas up the middle, that could wreck the game for the Crimson Tide.  

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