WR Keon Hatcher's ability to adapt crucial for team's success
When Keon Hatcher originally committed to Arkansas, they were a high-powered offense known for throwing the ball all over the yard. When Bret Bielema came to Fayetteville, it quickly became apparent things would be changing for the Razorbacks offense.
With the offense undergoing a complete overhaul, many players put in a similar situation would leave the program or fail to adjust, but not Hatcher. The receiver adjusted his game to become the player Bielema needs on the outside for his offense to truly become potent.
“I feel like I have a dog mentality," Hatcher told ESPN. "Whatever needs to be done -- and if you ask me to do it, I’ll do it. Just give me a task and I’ll make it happen. I like dirty work, I like to hit.”
Heading into his senior season, Hatcher is 75 yards shy of 1,000 career receiving yards, a number he likely saw himself getting every season for Arkansas. His head coach had nothing but praise for his willingness to adapt.
“He’s truly bought into what we’ve asked him to do and I can’t say thanks enough for that," Bielema said.
Hatcher's coach wasn't the only one to praise the receiver's work. Senior running back Jonathan Williams understands the new role isn't glamorous in the offense, and only a player of Hatcher's mental toughness could prevail with the duties asked of him.
“He’s selfless," Williams said. "That’s rare. Coach B preaches be an uncommon man and he’s definitely uncommon. He actually likes blocking and going across the middle to make the tough catches. There aren’t a lot of people I know who work harder than Keon.”
While Hatcher isn't likely to light up the scoreboard this season, if the Razorbacks make a run at the SEC West title in Bielema's third season with Arkansas, it will be in large part to Hatcher and his fellow players adjusting and willingness to follow their coach's lead.