Butch Jones kicks off A-State game week with Monday SBC zoom press conference

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 12:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2022 at 10:04 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s finally game week for Arkansas State football.

Head football coach Butch Jones met the media Monday morning in the Sun Belt zoom press conference. He revealed a couple injury updates for the Red Wolves.

A-State freshman linebacker Javante Mackey will be out for the season. “He suffered a torn meniscus, so he’ll undergo surgery tomorrow,” Jones said. “Kind of a freak thing really, non-contact thing of running. Very, very unfortunate for him, because he was an individual who was going to play significant downs for us, had significant time. It’s an opportunity for him to get a jumpstart on academics. I know him, he’ll be back for the spring, and he’ll be ready to go.”

Mackey is a Memphis native, he was a part of the 2022 Red Wolves recruiting class that was the highest ranked in program history. Jones added that redshirt freshman wide receiver Wyatt Begeal will miss the season opener due to injury. “We anticipate getting him back in a couple weeks,” Jones said.

There are also updates to the Red Wolves depth chart. Jordan Rhodes will start at right guard on Saturday, he transferred to A-State in the offseason from Ole Miss. “We’re excited to see what he can do,” Jones said. Little Rock native Makilan Thomas will start at left tackle. “He’s an individual that we made a decision last year to play. He had the 4 games left to be able to redshirt, so we tried to gain the valuable game experience and reps for him.”

Jones added that true freshman Dominic Zvada will start Week 1 at kicker. The Arizona native was in a three-man competition with Aidan Ellison & Tristan Mattson.

Arkansas State starts the season Saturday vs. Grambling State. Kickoff is at 6:00pm at Centennial Bank Stadium, the game will be streamed on ESPN+.