Brothers walk on for Hogs

Walk-on brothers meet in Fayet­teville

The Saline Courier Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Nate Allen

FAYET­TEVILLE - They are brothers from Mar­i­anna with different last names who took different paths to ar­rive at the same place.

So since last year, Jer­mar­cus Arnold and Mar­taveous Brown walked on at the Univer­sity of Arkansas to be Ra­zor­backs and team­mates as they were in high school at Mar­i­anna Lee.

Arnold, the older brother, walked on as a Ra­zor­backs run­ning back after two years at Arkansas Bap­tist.

Brown, a de­fen­sive back, played his fresh­man year at Arkansas Tech then trans­ferred to the UA walk­ing on with Coach Chad Mor­ris’ Ra­zor­backs.

Both showed enough po­ten­tial in the spring to be in­cluded in the Ra­zor­backs’ max­i­mum 110-man Au­gust pre­sea­son ros­ter which doesn’t ex­pand un­til the Aug. 26 be­gin­ning of UA fall se­mes­ter classes.

Arnold al­ways longed to be a Ra­zor­back.

“Grow­ing up I came to the camps up here three sum­mers straight,” Arnold said. “But I wasn’t a prospect.”

Es­pe­cially not his dur­ing his high school se­nior year.

“I tore my ACL my se­nior year at Mar­i­anna and my ACT wasn’t high enough so I went to Arkansas Bap­tist (the junior col­lege in Lit­tle Rock),” Arnold said. “I didn’t play the first year be­cause of my torn ACL and then I played in 2017. They wanted me to come back and play an­other year of ball but I had my as­so­ciates’ de­gree in ad­min­is­tra­tion and I was here (Fayet­teville) last fall and walked on in the spring and made the team.”

Arnold’s foot­ball sea­son and aca­demics at Arkansas Bap­tist mer­ited pro­grams wish­ing him to walk on.

“I had a de­ci­sion be­tween Mem­phis and here but I chose here,” Arnold, a sports man­age­ment ma­jor at the UA, said. “I had a bet­ter con­nec­tion.”

Jer­mar­cus and

Mar­taveous are among eight sib­lings, in­clud­ing an older brother grad­u­ated from the UA in Fayet­teville and a sis­ter from the UA in Lit­tle Rock, and a sis­ter headed to join her brothers in Fayet­teville since her high school grad­u­a­tion in Mar­i­anna.

Ra­zor­backs run­ning backs coach Jeff Tray­lor touts Jer­mar­cus’ speed and work habits and cites him as a pos­si­bil­ity to help on spe­cial teams.

“He’s a great kid and he’s got a chance to help us,” Tray­lor said.

Jer­mar­cus’ hopes still thrive as the pre­sea­son goes on.

“The pre­sea­son has been good,” Arnold said. “I’m go­ing to hang in and see what hap­pens. We are all work­ing hard. A lot of plays to learn but it seems like it’s run­ning pretty good. I’m mak­ing a lot of progress. I just have to gain con­fi­dence learn­ing the plays and get­ting in the book.”

Since the Ra­zor­backs work on two different prac­tice fields, and Jer­mar­cus

is among Tray­lor’s run­ning backs while Mar­taveous is among sec­ondary coach Ron Cooper’s de­fen­sive backs, they don’t in­ter­act all that much in prac­tice.

“I do see him get­ting a cou­ple of reps,” Jer­mar­cus said of Mar­taveous. “I think he’s do­ing pretty good. Coach Coop likes him.”

They joke about not see­ing that much of each other

off the field, ei­ther.

“We played two years to­gether at Mar­i­anna and we roomed to­gether last year in the fall but not now,” Jer­mar­cus said laugh­ing. “I got tired of him.”

Brown said they do plan on a mu­tual res­i­dence be­fore UA fall se­mes­ter classes be­gin.

Brown seems to feel more at home at the UA re­gard­less of dwelling.

“It wasn’t re­ally about foot­ball,” Brown said of leav­ing Arkansas Tech after

one walk-on year to walk on at the UA. “I didn’t like the school I was in. I thought I could come up here and ma­jor what I wanted to ma­jor in (psy­chol­ogy) and play foot­ball for the Ra­zor­backs. So it was a win­win.”

Brown didn’t just change schools but po­si­tions, too.

“I was a wide re­ceiver at Arkansas Tech,” Brown said. “It was all right and I think I would have played had I stayed there, but I felt like I was a D-2 wide re­ceiver

but felt I was a D-1 safety or cor­ner­back.”

De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor John Chavis and back­field coaches Cooper and Mark Smith ob­vi­ously felt close enough to that thought to in­clude Brown among the pre­sea­son 110.

“They got me at safety and it’s go­ing pretty good,” Brown said. “Dur­ing spring they had me at nickel. But fall camp came and Coach Coop said, ‘I want you at safety.’ And it’s go­ing pretty smooth right now.”



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