Arkansas Football: Impact player declares for 2022 NFL Draft

Arkansas Football John Ridgeway (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Arkansas Football John Ridgeway (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
Arkansas football
John Ridgeway, Arkansas football (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arkansas football team learned they will be losing another key player to the NFL Draft, adding to the barrage of players exiting the team.

Defensive Coordinator Barry Odom will have a tall task ahead in reshaping a defense that has to be able to stand up to Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss each season.

The Razorbacks will be retooling the defense without the services of defensive lineman John Ridgeway, who declared for the 2022 NFL Draft in a statement released via his Twitter account Jan  6.

John Ridgeway bids farewell to the Arkansas Football team

Here’s what Ridgeway said in his statement:

"Dear Razorback Nation,This football season as a Razorback has been one of the best experiences of my life. To be part of this team has allowed me to gro was a football player and as a man. I will be foreever grateful for the memories and relationships I have built through this program.I want to thank my Mom and Dad for always pushing me to be the best I can be and supporting me through my college career. I also want ot thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play in the SEC>Thank you to the Arkansas fans for welcoming me in with open arms and supporting me. I will forever call Fayetteville my home and will always look back on all the memories I made with my teammates and coaches this year.I will be declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.Vanilla Gorilla out-John Ridgeway III"

The 6’6” senior from Bloomington, Illinois made a big impact on defense in his lone season with the team.

Ridgeway, who came to Arkansas via transfer after three seasons with Illinois State.

The big man recorded 2 sacks, 11 solo tackles and 28 assisted tackles.

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The self-proclaimed “Vanilla Gorilla” will be an excellent get for whichever team lands the talented defensive lineman.