FAYETTEVILLE — Hudson Clark has bounced around from cornerback to safety and back and forth even in the same game or practice in the past, but now he’s concentrating on safety.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound redshirt senior should be one of the leaders for Travis Williams’ new defense as he works with Marcus Woodson and Deron Wilson. Clark was fourth on the team in 2022 with 67 tackles, including 33 solo, four for loss, one interception, 11 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and pair of recovered ones. How nice is it to concentrate on just one position?
“It’s good,” Clark said. “It’s just fun to be able to focus in on one position and kind of learn and see the defense from that point of view.”
Woodson and Wilson coach the secondary and Williams is the new coordinator. Only defensive line coach Deke Adams returned for this season. How has it been with the new staff?
“It’s been kind of difficult but at the same time awesome just because they brought a different energy in,” Clark said. “They’re high energy, flying around the field. So, it’s just fun to hear them talk to us, communicate with us and just kind of like let us go play out there, let us communicate with each other and have fun out on the field.”
Clark talked about the difference in safety last season and now thus far this spring.
“I think the communication out on the field,” Clark said. “You’ve got to talk to the nearby corner, the safety and the linebacker in front of you. Just being on the same page with everybody and being able to play with each other.”
One of Clark’s biggest strengths is playing the ball in the air as indicated by his three interceptions against Ole Miss as a redshirt freshman. Does safety allow you to play the ball in the air better than at cornerback?
“A little bit,” Clark said. “You get to be around the ball a little more, which is obviously fun, just kind of read the quarterback more too. I think it’s really been beneficial for me.”
It appears Arkansas is targeting a couple more safety types out of the transfer portal. Clark talked about how he feels about the depth.
“Oh yeah, I think we’ve got plenty of depth,” Clark said. “We’ve got Malik (Chavis), Jayden Johnson, TJ Metcalf. And a lot of people that can go from nickel to safety and are kind of learning all the positions. I think that’s kind of the biggest improvement from last year is we’ve got a bunch of people that can play back there and play at a high level.”
While there’s a lot of new on defense, the offense also has some changes. Two wide receivers who transferred in that have impressed everyone is Isaac TeSlaa and Andrew Armstrong.
“Yeah, I think both of ‘em are going to contribute for us come the fall,” Clark said. “We’ve seen ‘em go outside at the XZ receiver, go in the slot. So I think, I mean, they can play anywhere, and they both have great hands, great speed and great routes, so I think they’re going to be really beneficial to us come the fall.”
The spring scrimmage will begin Saturday at noon and the admission is free.