May 30, 2024

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Had the Razorback football program had its NIL house in order, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman could have had Michigan State transfer Keyshawn Blackstock helping shore up what turned out to be a weak offensive line rather than him toiling away during a tumultuous season amid the Mel Tucker drama in East Lansing.

Blackstock told 1037 “The Buzz” he intended to be a Razorback out of junior college last year. He was the No. 1 rated JUCO interior offensive lineman and the No. 6 overall prospect and there was mutual interest. However, when it came time to make things official, Pittman had to be the bearer of bad news.

I was talking to him out of junior college and he wanted to get me out of junior college,” Blackstock said. “He got to me a little too late. He told me he didn’t have enough NIL money to compete with other schools.”

With that door closed, Blackstock told Pittman he understood and committed to Tucker at Michigan State. However, early in the season, Tucker was fired with cause following an investigation into sexual misconduct. He had been one of the few coaches to really make a connection with Blackstock outside of Pittman. The two were part of Georgia’s recruiting effort to land him back in high school.

Transferring before the season ended, Blackstock knew it was time to give Pittman a second chance. This time he was at the front of the recruiting line while a new NIL initiative, Arkansas Edge, was set to kick off. Four days before the debacle against Missouri, Blackstock agreed to be a Razorback.

“We had a great relationship, and I told him when I came here I felt like it was home,” Blackstock said. “I know I want to help Coach Pittman get back on track.”


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