Luke Hasz making mark at tight end

By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas saw starting tight end Trey Knox transfer to South Carolina and backup Hudson Henry leave for the business world.

While super senior Nathan Bax returned he is the lone upperclassman at that position. He is joined by redshirt freshman Tyrus Washington and true freshman Luke Hasz this spring. In late May or early June Ashdown’s Shamar Easter will report. It’s still possible the Hogs could go to the transfer portal for a tight end.

Hasz, 6-3, 226, was one of the top tight ends in the nation at Bixby (Okla.) High School last fall. He was rated a four-star recruit. ESPN ranked him the No. 87 recruit in the nation regardless of position. As a senior, tallied 35 receptions for 597 yards (17.1 ypc) and nine touchdowns. Also rushed for a 17-yard touchdown and caught three two-point conversions.

Sam Pittman always mentions Hasz first when asked who is performing best among the true freshmen who reported in January. When asked about who stood out in the first five practices Pittman didn’t hesitate to name Hasz.

“The one guy that stood out the most in all of them is Luke Hasz,” Pittman said. “Really good football player. A guy that’s catching the ball extremely well, can run, can get open. That’s probably the guy of the young guys that has stood out the most, even though I’ve been really happy with (Jaylon) Braxton and (TJ) Metcalf and RJ Johnson and Dallas (Young). I’ve been happy with those young guys in the secondary, but I think Luke Hasz is that guy that has probably stood out the most in the freshman class.”

Pittman then went into more detail about specifically why Hasz is standing out at tight end.

“We have to continue working on his blocking,” Pittman said. “He doesn’t have the biggest stature. He’s not the biggest tight end, but he’s willing and he’s capable. He have to continue working that with him. But he’s a really good route runner, he’s exceptional catching the football and when he has it in his hand he’s hard to tackle. It just seems like every day he has 6, 8, 10 catches in some type of team setting. He gets open and catches everything that’s close to him. I’ve been really, really pleased with him.”

Dan Enos uses two tight ends more than Kendal Briles did. At this point, Pittman doesn’t think Hasz is ready to be an on-the-line tight end. 

“I think the only way he’s ever going to become an on-the-line tight end is if — he’s got to practice it — he gains some weight,” Pittman said. “I think that is … we’ve talked to him about it as well. We don’t necessarily want to bring him off the field because he can’t block in-line. He’s willing, he’s very, very strong, comes from a great high school program of lifting. We’ve just got to get a little bit of weight on him. And we’ll continue to work him technique-wise, but if we were playing today, he’d be off the ball and that kind of tight end. We’re hoping he can develop over the summer and become that every-down tight end.”

Arkansas will hold a scrimmage on Saturday that is closed to the media and public.

Photos Courtesy of Craven Whitlow CW3 Action Sports

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