Arkansas Razorbacks Top 10 Returning Players in 2023 Including Rocket Sanders, KJ Jefferson

After a minor setback in 2022, the Arkansas Razorbacks have some top offensive players back to challenge the SEC elites for a conference title.

2022 was a bit of an up-and-down season for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Despite making a bowl game, the team failed to meet expectations. They finished 9-4 in 2021 but saw that record drop to 7-6 last season. A Liberty Bowl win over Kansas marked the second time ever the program won back-to-back bowl games.

Despite numerous losses on offense and defense, the Razorbacks are looking to reload and get back into the SEC title conversation.

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Arkansas Razorbacks Top 10 Returners in 2023

Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes that were included on each team’s roster page to open fall camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

1) Beaux Limmer, RG

Only two offensive linemen return to Arkansas from last season’s team, but one of them returning is arguably their most important player. Beaux Limmer was one of four Razorbacks who started all 13 games during the regular season, dominating in pass protection throughout the season.

He earned Second-Team All-SEC recognition from the Associated Press.

Limmer is dynamic on the offensive line. Not only did he make 12 starts at right guard, but he also started as the center for the bowl game and still performed at a high level. He’s powerful on the line and will help Arkansas solidify the interior of their offensive line, just as he has been doing for the last two seasons.

MORE: All-SEC Preseason Individual & Team Honors

2) Raheim ‘Rocket’ Sanders, RB

Taking over as the starter in the backfield last season, Raheim Sanders quickly proved that he is one of the best running backs in the country. Sanders ran for 1,443 yards and ten touchdowns, starting in all 13 games played in 2022.

He also caught 28 passes for 271 yards and two scores in the receiving game. This helped him earn First-Team All-SEC honors from the AP and USA Today, as well as Second-Team All-SEC in the Coaches.

The bar is expected to be raised with Sanders, as this season he is being discussed for All-American honors. He was included in College Football Network’s Preseason Third-Team All-American offensive team.

He’s also on preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp Award, Doak Walker Award, and Maxwell Award. Watch for Sanders to be one of the leading rushers in college football this season.

3) KJ Jefferson, QB

Arkansas’s offensive leader, KJ Jefferson, is back for one more season with the team, continuing to shine as their quarterback. Jefferson threw for 2,648 yards with 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions last season.

He also added 640 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

Compared to a young Daunte Culpepper, Jefferson is expected to make another leap in his performance. He’s included on watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and Manning Award.

With a strong arm, athleticism, and the ability to run over opponents, his game is both a blessing and a curse. With his accuracy improving each season, Jefferson will be asked to do more and carry Arkansas to contention in the SEC.

4) Brady Latham, LG

Another reliable offensive lineman, Brady Latham is another example of a Razorback starting offensive lineman poised for big things. Starting all 13 games at left guard, Latham committed only two penalties a season ago and was solid in all facets.

Like Limmer, Arkansas needs Latham to perform the way he did last season, as he is one of only two returning starters on the offensive line. He should help the Razorbacks possess one of the best interior offensive lines in the SEC.

5) Hudson Clark, DB

Arkansas has been hoping that defensive back Hudson Clark would continue to make strides in his game, and last season was a nice breakthrough. Starting 10 of the 13 games played, Clark took on multiple positions in the secondary to help the unit, which led to 67 tackles, 12 pass breakups, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

He earned First-Team All-SEC honors from USA Today.

Whatever Clark is asked to do on defense, he gets it done, proving his versatility to play many positions for the team. Now, in his senior season, he looks to be in a good position for his best season, being one of the stronger coverage guys on the team.

6) Dwight McGlothern, CB

After transferring from LSU to Arkansas last season, Dwight McGlothern sprinted off the line for the Razorbacks, playing well in his first season with the program. In 2022, McGlothern earned Second-Team All-SEC honors after recording 52 tackles, 14 pass deflections, a team-leading four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and one tackle for loss.

McGlothern quickly proved to be a shutdown corner with a nose for the football. Arkansas’s secondary continues to improve and shine as a bright spot on this defense. He is a key part of that and will have to work with Clark to help the defense improve its performance by shutting down the passing game.

7) Chris Paul Jr., LB

It was a strong first full season for linebacker Chris Paul Jr., showcasing his potential to be great for the Razorbacks. In his redshirt freshman season, Paul recorded 62 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, and one forced fumble in 13 games played, with two starts. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team for his performance.

It’s clear that Paul is going to be a key player on defense as he has already demonstrated a high motor that can quickly find the ball carrier. A great open-field tackler for Arkansas, Paul could see even more tackles coming his way, as he should earn more starts at linebacker.

8) Cam Little, K

One of college football’s more accurate kickers, Cam Little has been a consistent performer for the Razorbacks over the last two seasons. Little has converted 82.5% of his kicks and has yet to miss any of his 96 extra points. He’s included in multiple outlets’ Preseason All-SEC teams heading into the 2023 season.

Little possesses a nice combination of accuracy and a strong leg, having hit from over 50 yards multiple times in two seasons. While there is firepower on offense, in a conference where close games can be determined by special teams, the junior kicker has a chance to be in the national spotlight with another strong season.

9) Lorando Johnson, CB

A bit of an underrated player, Lorando Johnson joins Arkansas after playing two seasons with the Baylor Bears. Johnson started 12 games for Baylor last season, totaling 16 tackles, five pass deflections, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble during the season.

Arkansas brought in reinforcements to an already strong secondary, and Johnson is an addition that instantly helps them out. He’s projected to be one of the starting corners, so despite the stats not being very high in numbers, a change of scenery and scheme should help propel Johnson to new heights in his junior season.

MORE: SEC RB Rankings, 2023

10) Taurean Carter, DT

Prior to last season, defensive tackle Taurean Carter was showing great promise for Arkansas after a strong 2021 season. A knee injury in spring practice last season cost him the entire 2022 season.

Now fully recovered and ready to play, Carter did a great job plugging the middle of the lineup in 2021, recording 24 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass breakup in 13 games played. He’s projected to be a starter this season, and barring any issues with his knee, he should have a nice 2023 season and pick up where he left off in 2021.