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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas offensive line coach Dustin Fry directs his players Saturday, March 10, 2018, during practice at the university practice field in Fayetteville. - Photo by Andy Shupe

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is looking to add help on its offensive line and at linebacker and are eyeing two California junior college prospects for those spots.

Offensive lineman Tim Anderson, 6-5, 280 pounds, of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., and outside linebacker Caleb Johnson, 6-1, 217, of Fullerton (Calif.) College have SEC-type athleticism to help the Hogs.

Both are expected to graduate in December and enroll at their new schools in January. Anderson has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Louisville, Colorado State, and Fresno State among others.

The NCAA dead period begins Monday and will last until July 24. Prospects are forbidden from visiting college campuses during that time. Anderson and offensive line coach Dustin Fry have been discussing an official visit to Fayetteville.

"I talked to him a little bit this past week and he was talking to me and trying to get me out there on that official visit during the season," Anderson said. "That's probably the plan because of the dead period coming up. Which I would be OK with because being able to see everything during the season would be cool."

Fry stresses the Hogs' offensive line depth chart.

"How they're a little low on linemen right now," Anderson said. "So he's looking for people and I could come in and compete right away for a starting job."

Anderson, who has officially visited Louisville, played tackle as a freshman, but said he's capable of playing guard, too.

"I'm comfortable there I know," Anderson said. "I have pretty quick feet, so I get on the edge pretty well. I could probably do both."

Oklahoma and Nebraska are among the other schools showing interest in Anderson. He played at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo. He had the grade point average to go on to college, but miscommunication of the number of core classes needed to be a full qualifier cost him.

"I figured out two months after I graduated I wasn't a qualifier," Anderson said.

Anderson was uncertain about his future until he started talking to Saddleback Coach Mark McElroy.

"I was almost done with playing football," Anderson said. "I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at first and then I met Coach Mack and talked to him a lot. He's a really good guy."

He's glad to be in the situation he's in today.

"I'm really happy," Anderson said. "I love the game more than anything, so I made the right decision to keep playing."

Johnson, who runs more like a safety than a linebacker, has scholarship offers from the Hogs, Iowa State and Florida Atlantic.

He's been talking to Razorback defensive analyst Xavier Adibi for about a month and an official visit in September is looking likely.

"He told me that their coaches would immediately love my film as soon as he showed them and sure enough they did," said Johnson, who has also spoken to defensive coordinator John Chavis. "He thinks I can come in and play immediately and they want to get me on a visit when season starts."

Johnson recorded 41 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered fumble for the Hornets who went 13-0 and won a national championship while averaging 54 points a game while giving up 17.

He was named first team California Community College Football Coaches Association All-American as a freshman. Johnson officially visited Iowa State on June 14 and is expected to make an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend.

Adibi mentioned Chavis having more NFL first-round draft picks than any other active defensive coordinator.

"First thing he said," Johnson said.

Johnson has a plan in mind while choosing his future school.

"Finding the best defense for me, visiting schools, and seeing where I believe I will be the most successful," Johnson said.

Email Richard Davenport at

Sports on 06/22/2018


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