FAYETTEVILLE - Whether in the 3-4 they run now or the 4-3 they ran previously, an Arkansas Razorbacks defense with Dre Greenlaw at weakside linebacker is bound to be better than a defense without him.
So at Arkansas’ session of Monday’s SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema bore good news to Razorbacks fans that Greenlaw should operate full go when the first preseason practice commences on July 27.
Greenlaw broke his foot at midseason in 2017 and apparently reinjured it during the Belk Bowl.
“Dre Greenlaw, he looks great,” Bielema said. “He's come back. We are constantly are monitoring and looking at what we can do for him to make sure. But he should be 100 percent go by fall camp.”
Fayetteville High grad Greenlaw was Arkansas’ second-leading tackler as a true freshman in 2015 and was leading the 2016 Razorbacks in tackles when he broke his foot during the season’s sixth game.
Greenlaw returned for the 35-24 Belk Bowl loss to Virginia Tech but missed spring drills with his foot broken again.
Even missing six of Arkansas’ 13 games, and removed from two upon his injury, Greenlaw’s 42 tackles ranked him ninth on the team.
Melvin Johnson, a junior college transfer defensive lineman from Riverside (Calif.) Community College won’t be joining the Razorbacks in 2017.
Montaric Brown, an incoming freshman defensive back from Ashdown, also hasn’t been able to report to the Razorbacks yet but remains hopeful to qualify by the July 27 first practice.
“Melvin will not make it by qualification standards, but he has a possibility of possibly joining us in December, depending on what he does and where he's at,” Bielema said. “Buster (Brown is currently doing everything he has to do to get where he needs to be, to get here by the time fall camp. He is so close that if that doesn't happen here in the next couple weeks, I do foresee him being able to join us by the time school starts and at the worst maybe a January enrollment. But he'll be with us sooner than later.”
Bielema was asked about David Williams, the running back with one year’s eligibility as a graduate student transfer from South Carolina.
Bielema had recruited Williams previously and, Bielema said, with the cooperation of South Carolina Coach Will Muschamp who inherited Williams from previous South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier, got Williams to Arkansas after he determined to transfer as a grad student.
“He actually had come to visit me when I was at Wisconsin,” Bielema said. “When I made the transition to Arkansas, I was thinking about recruiting David, but he went in a different direction and committed to South Carolina in the SEC. I made note of where’s at.”I
Transferring with immediate eligibility as a grad student after lettering three South Carolina seasons, Bielema said David Williams brings “maturity” behind sophomore Devwah Whaley, the starter since a second-major neck injury has ended the career of Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams, the SEC’s regular-season leading rusher last season.