Arkansas linebacker signee Khalia Hackett will arrive on the scene on Tuesday and can't wait to get to work in his new career as a college football player.
Hackett (6-3, 220), a standout for Douglasville, Ga., South Paulding the past three seasons, is anxious to get to work under Razorback linebackers coach Randy Shannon, who has coached 21 NFL first-round draft choices as a head coach or assistant.
"Coach Shannon has taken guys like Ray Lewis and Jonathan Vilma and Jon Beason and D.J. Williams and helped develop them into great linebackers and I want to be the next one," Hackett said. "I can't wait to learn from such a great coach. I am going to work hard to be the best player I can be."
Hackett, who had 85 tackles and four interceptions as a senior, is excited about arriving in Fayetteville, but knows it will be a growing experience for him.
"I am a Georgia boy and I am about to go a lot of hours away from home so I am sure I am going to get a little homesick," Hackett said. "But I am ready to make the move and grow as a man and I'm looking forward to it."
Hackett, who had 165 tackles in his high school career and has added 10 pound this year, will be a joining a rebuilding Razorback squad with some experience in just that.
South Paulding won six games when Hackett was a sophomore and junior and then had the school's best mark in history at 10-2 and also the school's first-ever state playoff appearance his senior campaign.
"It's all about working hard and believing in what you are doing," Hackett said. "We just hung in there and finally got it done this season. You have got to have that belief. I have that belief that they same thing is going to happen at Arkansas while I am there."
Shannon has told Hackett – who chose Arkansas over Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Cincinnati among others - there is playing time for the earning if he comes in ready to work.
"What Coach Shannon has said is that I am going to get every opportunity to prove myself right away," Hackett said. "He has said that if I am a guy that can make plays and help the defense right away, I will get a chance to play.
"If not, then I will redshirt and get bigger, stronger and learn and be ready to make a major impact my second year there," Hackett added. "But I am coming to get on the field."
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