Stromberg enters Draft, second day of Razorback exit interviews

By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE — The second day of exit interviews at Arkansas saw the anchor of the offensive line announce his intentions to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.

Senior center Ricky Stromberg will not return to Arkansas for a fifth season. Instead he will head to the NFL. He joins wide receiver Jadon Haselwood as the second Razorback to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. Neither will play in the upcoming bowl game.

Stromberg has earned All-America honors at Arkansas. Started 44 games in his career including 11 as a true freshman in 2019. He played some offensive guard earlier in his career, but has since concentrated on center.

In addition to Stromberg, three other Razorbacks announced plans to enter the transfer portal including punter Reid Bauer. He will be a graduate transfer and have one year of eligibility at a new school. Auburn has been mentioned as a possibility for Bauer.

This season he averaged 44.6 yards on 23 punts. He had to compete with freshman Max Fletcher for the job much of the season. Bauer, who is from Magnolia (Texas) High School, had appeared in 36 games prior to this season. He entered 2022 averaging 41.6 yards on 156 punts. He had a long of 64 in 2018, had 40 inside the opponent’s 20 and 26 punts of 50 yards or more.

In addition, two juniors have opted to enter the transfer portal. Defensive back Khari Johnson and defensive end Eric Thomas.

Johnson is a junior defensive back from Suffield Academy (Conn.) has opted to enter the transfer portal. In 10 games this season, Johnson had 25 tackles, including 10 solo, and one pass breakup. Prior to this fall, Johnson had 13 tackles, seven solo, and two pass breakups. He spent time at both cornerback and safety.

Thomas played in 11 games this season and finished with two tackles. Prior to this season, Thomas played in 19 games with no starts. He had nine tackles, three solo and 1.5 for loss. Thomas came to Arkansas from Pensacola (Fla.) Booker T. Washington.

These four joined Haselwood, freshman running back James Jointer, junior nickel back Myles Slusher, redshirt freshman tight end Erin Outley, redshirt freshman wide receiver Chase Lowery, redshirt quarterback Malik Hornsby and redshirt sophomore defensive back Jacorrei Turner in leaving Arkansas.

As previously noted, Haselwood and Stromberg are entering the 2023 NFL Draft while the remainder will be in the transfer portal. Thus far, the first two days have not presented any surprises. 

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