Feleipe Franks may have left Florida, but he may not be leaving the SEC. Possibly.
In early December, Franks had announced that he would be taking his leave of Gainesville. At the time, it was unclear if Franks, who signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox this past summer, was leaving to play a professional sport or transfer to another school, although this latest development seems to indicate the latter is likely.
According to WholeHogSports.com, Feleipe Franks is expected to visit Arkansas this coming weekend. The website adds that Mississippi State, with new head coach Mike Leach in charge, is another school in which the quarterback is interested.
This report comes a month after Franks visited Kansas.
Franks was a four-star member of Florida’s 2016 recruiting class. He was rated as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 9 player regardless of position in the state of Florida.
After starting eight games in 2017, Franks started all 13 for the Gators in 2018. He had started the first three games of 2019 before going down with a season-ending ankle injury.
During his time in Gainesville, Franks threw for 4,593 yards, 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in completing exactly 59 percent of his 622 passes.
Franks is a graduate transfer, so he’ll be eligible to play immediately at whichever Power Five school he ultimately chooses.
In filling out his first roster as the Arkansas Razorbacks football head coach, Sam Pittman didn’t even have to go out of the state for his latest addition.
On his personal Twitter account late last week, Jerry Jacobs announced that he would be transferring from Arkansas State. Not only that, but the defensive back revealed that he’s moving on to the Arkansas Razorbacks football program.
“It was a tough decision to leave the place that I have called home the past two years,” Jacobs wrote. “Making this decision has not been easy, but I know this is the best decision for my college career.”
Jacobs, a three-star 2018 signee after beginning his collegiate career at a Kansas junior college in 2017, will be eligible to play immediately in 2020. Not only that, but he’ll have another season of eligibility he can use in 2021 as well.
Jacobs’s first season at Arkansas, he earned second-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. A torn ACL in the fourth game of 2019, a loss to Georgia, prematurely ended his season.
As noted by WholeHogSports.com, Jacobs was coached at the junior-college level by Rion Rhoades, who is now the Razorbacks’ linebackers coach. Rhoades was one of the hires that completed Pittman’s first UA staff.
It’s been an interesting weekend in the transfer portal. We’ve seen one player move to the team he taunted in an upset. Now we’ve seen another who wound up helping his new team quite a bit in an upset over his old one.
In a pair of social media posts on Saturday, recent Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel confirmed he would be transferring to San Jose State for the 2020 season. If that name and team sounds familiar it’s because, well, he wound up throwing five interceptions to the Spartans in a stunning Razorbacks loss last year.
Starkel began his career at Texas A&M but made the intra-SEC move last March to Fayetteville. The hiring of Sam Pittman as the Hogs new coach appeared to hasten a second transfer in as many years.
The redshirt junior should have one final season left of eligibility and arrives as a potential replacement at SJSU for Josh Love, who was named MWC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. Starkel threw for team highs in yards, touchdowns and interceptions at Arkansas in 2019 over eight appearances and five starts.
One of the players who transferred from the Arkansas Razorbacks football team has himself a new college home.
Via a tweet posted to his Twitter machine, Grayson Gunter revealed that he will be transferring to Southern Miss and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Golden Eagles. It was confirmed in late December that the tight end would be transferring from the Arkansas Razorbacks football program.
The move serves as a homecoming of sorts as Gunter played his high school football in Madison, Mississippi.
As Gunter left UA as a graduate transfer, he can play immediately in 2020. Next season will serve as his final year of eligibility.
Gunter was a three-star 2016 signee, rated as the No. 56 tight end in the country and the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Mississippi. He played in all 13 games as a true freshman before taking a redshirt in 2017. The past two seasons, Gunter played in 23 games. He started eight of those contests — six this season, two in 2018.
Gunter will finished the Razorbacks portion of his playing career with 135 yards and two touchdowns on 11 receptions. His best season was the most recent one as he caught six passes for 55 yards and a score in 2019.
The first full week of the new year sees Arkansas with a full football staff. The university announced the final additions to the on-field coaching staff for new head coach Sam Pittman on Monday.
Jon Cooper will join the Razorbacks as a tight ends coach, a position he has held the past two years for UCF. Cooper will be returning to the SEC after previously coaching at Missouri under offensive coordinator (and current UCF head coach) Josh Heupel.
Scott Fountain has been named the new special teams coach. Fountain joins Arkansas after a season with the Georgia Bulldogs, where Pittman came from. Fountain was Georgia’s special teams coach and he spent four seasons as an assistant at Auburn prior to his time with Georgia.
Derrick LeBlanc takes on the role of defensive line coach at Arkansas after joining the program from Kentucky. LeBlanc also previously coached at LSU and in the state of Arkansas with jobs at Henderson State and Arkansas Tech.
Jimmy Smith joins Arkansas from Georgia State, and he will be the team’s running backs coach. Georgia State was a talented running program under Smith’s leadership in the sun Belt Conference. Smith also has previous high school coaching experience in the Atlanta area, a key and fertile recruiting ground Arkansas will hope to establish more relationships in moving forward.
Arkansas previously hired former Missouri head coach Barry Odom to be the team’s defensive coordinator. Former Florida State offensive coordinator Kendal Briles was hired to be the new offensive coordinator at Arkansas.