Arkansas, Sam Pittman Expecting Key Contributions From Five Grad Transfers

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman signed five grad transfers in the Class of 2020 and expects each of them to make a strong contribution this fall.

The five are quarterback Feleipe Franks (Florida), defensive back Jerry Jacobs (Arkansas State), defensive lineman Xavier Kelly (Clemson), linebacker Levi Draper (Oklahoma) and kicker AJ Reed (Duke). On Friday, Pittman talked about the five transfers.

“Well, they’re all on course,” Pittman said. “Feleipe’s obviously here. Jerry, he’s here. Jerry Jacobs is here. Xavier, he’s on course to graduate. Levi Draper’s on course to graduate. A.J. Reid’s on course to graduate. We felt like we got some really good kids in that group, really good players and really good people. They are in our conversations as well, and just we need to make sure they get here. We don’t have any doubt all five of those guys will be a part of our program in the fall.”

Franks, Jacobs, Reed and Kelly are seniors while Draper is a junior and will have two years remaining.

Franks had a very good career with the Gators before suffering a severe ankle injury last fall against Kentucky on a fourth-down running play. At Florida, Franks completed 367 of 622 passes for 4,593 yards, 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He rushed 189 times for 438 yards and eight touchdowns. His best season in Gainesville was 2018. That season, Franks completed 188 of 322 passes for 2,457 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed 110 times for 350 yards and seven touchdowns.

Pittman praised Franks for his leadership on Friday.

“Feleipe Franks has done a good job with KJ Jefferson,” Pittman said. “I tell you who works hard is Jack Lindsey and (John Stephen) Jones. They work their butts off, but leadership wise more towards Franks there.”

Jacobs played for Rion Rhoades at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College before transferring to Arkansas State. His final season in Jonesboro was cut short by an injury suffered against Georgia. In two years at Arkansas State, Jacobs had 53 tackles, including 41 uassisted, four for loss, four interceptions, 10 pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Draper had three tackles for the Sooners last fall. He is finishing up work this semester at Oklahoma then will be at Fayetteville when athletes are permitted back.

Reed had a banner 2019 season at Duke. He was 15 of 18 on field goals with a long of 51, perfect on 34 point after touchdowns scoring 79 points. He’s expected to be Connor Limpert’s replacement this season.

Kelly was at Clemson four years including redshirting in 2016. He finished with 26 tackles, one for loss, 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and a recovered one. He played 256 snaps for Clemson in three years.

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