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Sam Pittman: Hogs' Star Safety Has Successful Shoulder Surgery Monday

Already back at football center before Pittman's press conference previewing going to Little Rock to play UAPB

Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon apparently has his shoulder fixed.

"He had surgery this morning," said Arkansas coach Sam Pittman. "He had some slight tears in his labrum in the front and the back. Surgery went well. He’s already been in the facility and went to Walmart to get his meds. So he’s doing well."

Catalon is projected as an early NFL draft pick for April's annual selection of players. But Pittman wasn't speculating on that Monday.

"You’d have to talk to him," he said (and, of course, we'd love to have that conversation with him). "All my thought process is that he’ll come back but I think you’d have to talk to him about it. He’ll know the answer a little bit better than me."

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The injuries on defense are causing a lot of shuffling with Myles Slusher, Siimeon Blair and Malik Chavis helping fill in the gaps.

"Slusher played well," said Pittman. "He got beat early on a long pass last week, but I thought he actually played better than even I thought he would because he hasn’t played much ball. He’s been hurt the whole time, really since he’s been here. He can take that position and do well there.

"Blair’s been a guy back there as well. We’re going to look at Chavis a little bit more than what we have."

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Chavis is one of the few Razorbacks in the history of Rison down in Southeast Arkansas that has piled up a lot of championships but not produced players with numbers at the SEC level (George Walker an obvious exception in the 1950's).

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Apparently we're going to find out if Chavis can play.

"He can run," said Pittman. "He’s got the body type. He can run. He’s finally getting comfortable in there. He knows what he’s doing. We just need to give him a little more opportunity, and certainly with our situation right now, that opportunity, he’s going to get it, because he has to.

"A lot of times guys will surprise you with how well they play," Pittman said. "Sometimes they don’t play as good as you think they’re going to, but he’s done a nice job and he’s worked hard. I’m looking forward to seeing him play."

The Hogs will look to end the three-game losing streak Saturday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a game that kicks off at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.

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