Brothers walk on for Hogs
Walk-on brothers meet in Fayetteville
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.”
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.”