K.J. Jefferson enjoyed a terrific first season as the full-time starter at Arkansas. Not only did he record a 67.3 percent completion percentage, pass for 2,676 yards, and throw 21 touchdowns versus just 4 interceptions, but he added 6 more touchdowns on the ground to go along with 4.5 yards per carry.

The Razorbacks quarterback is as much a reason for the resurgence of Arkansas as anyone, with the way he leads the team one of the many qualities that stands out to Sam Pittman.

“I think you can tell leadership by the way others look at him and ny the way others treat the guy,” the Razorbacks head coach said during Greg McElroy’s “Always College Football” podcast. “Our team knows he’s our guy…I haven’t said one time, ‘Stay way from the quarterback’…they’re way away from him.

“He’s comfortable being the leader of the football team, and probably more important than anything, the team’s comfortable with him, and they show him the respect that certainly he’s earned.”

At the end of the day, Pittman noted, Jefferson is the same person he’s always been, even after his massive 2021 season.

“The success that he’s had hasn’t gone to his head, hasn’t changed him one bit,” he said. “He understands the way he got it was hard work, and that means in the film room, off the field, and certainly on the field.”