Arkansas’ first-year head coach knows a thing or two about building culture. He witnessed Kirby Smart build a winner while the offensive line coach at Georgia.
One of the best winners on the market was graduate transfer Xavier Kelly. With the depth and talent in Clemson, Kelly did not play a lot and wanted an opportunity for significant playing time with his last year of eligibility. He decided Fayetteville would be the ideal place to end his collegiate career.
This is a key pickup for Arkansas because they add yet another veteran — they got Feleipe Franks from Florida — to a roster that needs to learn how to win. The Razorbacks hope Kelly brings some “Clemson dust” to help Pittman instill a winning culture at Arkansas.
Kelly, the former No. 1 rated player form the state of Kansas in 2017, brings size and versatility to the Razorbacks’ defensive front. He can play either end or tackle depending on the situation.
He fills a much-needed hole for the Razorbacks as well. Arkansas loses five of their top eight defensive linemen to graduation next season. Though the Razorbacks signed five defensive linemen this recruiting cycle, Kelly gives the Razorbacks veteran leadership that will be vital in year one of Pittman’s tenure at Arkansas.