When Sam Pittman took over at Arkansas, one of the first hires he made came with the addition of defensive coordinator Barry Odom.

After assessing the talent they inherited in Fayetteville on the defensive side of the ball, the new Razorback coaches quickly hit the transfer market to seek help to add to the roster.

Those efforts paid off during the offseason as Arkansas State defensive back Jerry Jacobs, Oklahoma linebacker Levi Draper and Clemson defensive lineman Xavier Kelly all make their way to Fayetteville and look to log significant action on the field for the Razorbacks this season.

During his recent media availability, Kelly was asked why he picked Arkansas. His immediate reaction — why not Arkansas?

“Man, why not Arkansas? My official visit, I came and got a chance to watch film with (defensive line) Coach (Derrick) LeBlanc,” Kelly said. “He’s a very smart guy, he’s very knowledgeable about the game and I was like, ‘That’s who I want to play for.’

“Just the way he coaches, he’s very technically sound. I wanted to play under Coach Odom and I got a chance to meet the guys over my official visit and got a good vibe.”

Playing time likely played into Kelly’s decision, too, and according to Coach Odom, the first-year Razorback lineman is going to be needed immediately on the field for the team.

“He’s done a nice job. 315-pounds, he’s got good power, plays with leverage and he’s got good quickness,” Odom recently said of Kelly. “Maybe a little quicker than I thought he would be, just his explosion at the point of attack inside. We’ve been able to move him around a little bit because of his skillset.

“Really, really excited that we have him and he’s going to have to play a lot of really good snaps for us this year.”