Replacing Arkansas standout senior defensive end Trey Flowers is not going to be easy, but the Razorbacks added a likely candidate who had 15 sacks this past season to do so on Wednesday morning.
Hutchinson, Kan., Community College defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter (6-4, 2181) signed with Arkansas on the first day of the junior college national signing period.
“Jeremiah is another fantastic addition to our growing 2015 class,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. "He will bring experience and physicality to our defensive line and joins a group of outstanding future Razorbacks that will make an immediate impact with our team. The sky is the limit with Jeremiah and we can’t wait to see what he’ll bring during spring practice on and off the field.”
Ledbetter, who chose Arkansas over Miami and Florida among numerous other options, was just named a NJCAA second-team All-American on Tuesday.
“It was a very exciting feeling signing this morning and it means all the things I’ve gone through and all my hard work has paid off,” Ledbetter said. “I can’t wait to get up to Arkansas and do what I can to help the Razorbacks.
“They have talked to me about coming in and taking over for Trey and trying to do the same things he did – make plays, disrupt the offense and be a leader for the defense,” Ledbetter added. “That is my mindset and I am excited about the opportunity.”
Ledbetter, who will have two seasons to play for the Razorbacks, had 78 tackles as a sophomore 24.5 tackles for 133 yards in lost yardage, 15.5 sacks, 7 quarterback hurries, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 blocked kicks.
He will arrive in Fayetteville on Jan. 10 and will be able to go through off-season conditioning with Arkansas and spring drills.
“I think it is just really huge for me to get there at mid-term and be able to get all the basics down of the program and just school life in general,” Ledbetter said. “It will be great to bond with all my new teammates and be able to get ready to keep the defense to just keep coming on strong.”
Ledbetter took his official visit to Arkansas in July and committed to the Razorbacks in August.
He did so despite the program was coming off a 3-9 season in head coach Bret Bielema’s initial season at the helm and before the program showed a big turnaround in 2014.
“I could see the potential there under Coach B and the coaching staff so I was not surprised at all with all the progress they made this season,” Ledbetter said. “I think we are on the verge of becoming one of the best teams in the country and I am happy I am going to get to be a part of that.”
Hutchinson finished 11-1 after a 52-7 win over No. 19 Hudson Valley in the Salt City Bowl on Dec. 6 in Hutchinson.
Ledbetter had 10 tackles and three sacks in the bowl game for the Dragons and was named the defensive MVP of the game.
Hutchinson finished fourth nationally – the school’s best finish ever in the NJCAA Football poll and also won the Jayhawk Conference title.
It was also the best finish in the school’s 83-year history.
“It was a great season for us and a great season for me individually,” Ledbetter said. “I am ready to get on to Arkansas and just keep it going.”
Ledbetter Signs With Arkansas
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