Opponent Scouting Report: Arkansas Razorbacks Defense, Position-by-Position

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Nov 2, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason (21) is tackled by Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Braylon Mitchell (34) and defensive tackle DeMarcus Hodge (93) during the first half at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports


At linebacker, Arkansas should be more consistent than they were a year ago. After shuffling players in and out of the starting lineup, the 2014 linebackers corps should have three solid starters.

Senior Braylon Mitchell started seven games in 2013. In all, he recorded 77 tackles, had two tackles for loss and broke up three passes. He is expected to start on the strong side for the Razorbacks in 2014.

“I know what the coaches expect from me and I can be a leader on the field, Mitchell said last week. “The most important thing is I know what’s going on. I can read formations now, and I think I’m a way better linebacker now than I was last year.”

Originally expected to back up Mitchell, Daunte Carr, also a senior, has been competing for a starting role at middle linebacker. He has been competing with sophomore Brooks Ellis, who started the team’s final four games in the middle last year. However, according to Arkansas’ most recent depth chart, Carr will back up Mitchell on the strong side.

On the weakside, Martell Spaight will finally be a full time starter after transferring to Arkansas prior to the 2013 season. Spaight has gained a reputation as a big hitter in practice, but his reported lack of knowledge of the defense kept him off the field during games most of last season.

Tiquention “TQ” Coleman, a former safety, will see the field on the weakside as well. True freshman Khalia Hackett could contribute also, and Dwayne Eugene has already made the two-deep at weak side linebacker. A somewhat unexpected player to watch is Josh Williams, who has made a big impression recently.

“Especially in the scrimmage this weekend, Josh was unbelievable,” linebackers coach Randy Shannon told arkansasrazorbacks.com last week. “He was fitting the run game, his passing game was unbelievable. He keeps progressing, you give someone the chance to start, play and have an opportunity and he’s captured it and is doing a lot of good things. I’m happy to see that, because like anything, the more depth you have, the more successful you’ll be.”

Ortha Peters, a former four-star recruit, transferred to Louisiana-Lafayette.