As we near the start of the 2014 season for the Arkansas football team, there are still many question marks concerning some starting spots on the squad.
Bret Bielema and staff will be searching desperately in the final two weeks of camp to find the right guys for the jobs.
We’ll start off by predicting what the final depth chart will look like when the Razorbacks travel to face the defending SEC champs in Auburn, AL.
QB– Brandon Allen, Austin Allen, Rafe Peavey
This is essentially a race to see who will back up Brandon as the number 2 guy. Don’t be surprised if the coaches elect to reshirt Peavey this season if he’s not needed.
Read why Brandon Allen’s job is safe here.
RB– Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins, Korliss Marshall
A year ago, Collins had more rushing yards than Williams even though he started every game. It really doesn’t matter who starts at the position because all of these guys will get close to an equal number of carries this year. This could be the best running back core in the SEC with the emergence of Korliss Marshall as a big-play threat.
FB– Kody Walker, Pat Arinze,
Both of these guys are capble of filling the void that Kiero Small left. Look for one or both of these guys to become names you’ll hear very often in the running game.
TE- Hunter Henry, A.J. Derby, Jeremy Sprinkle
The position added much needed depth with the former quarterback A.J. Derby making the switch to tight end where he will make plenty of plays. Sprinkle may also become more of a blocking threat since he added about 20 pounds this offseason.
WR– Keon Hatcher, Jared Cornelius, JoJo Robinson, Eric Hawkins
WR– Demetrius Wilson, Cody Hollister, Kendrick Edwards
The position has to improve greatly in order for the offense to have any success. Look for the newcommers like Cornelius and Hollister to step onto the scene early and often. Also, freshman JoJo Robinson will get a ton of chances at the slot position with Cornelius because of their big-play ability in space.
OT– Dan Skipper, Austin Beck
OT– Brey Cook, Brian Wallace
Brey Cook has supposedly taken on the role of leader of the offensive line which is promising to hear. Grady Ollison will move to the defensvie line allowing Freshman Brian Wallace to step into the number two spot now.
OG– Luke Charpentier, Cameron Jefferson
OG– Denver Kirkland, Sebastian Tretola
This spot is pretty much wide-open for the guard position opposite of Kirkland. Once Jefferson gets accustomed to the new offense, he should definitely get some playing time.
C– Mitch Smothers, Frank Ragnow
Another open position filling the void that Travis Swanson left. It is reported that Ragnow is slowly closing the gap between him and Smothers after nearly every practice.
DT– Darius Philon, DeMarcus Hodge
NG- Taiwan Johnson, Bijohn Jackson
While Robb Smith may switch most of these guys in and out, Philon should anchor the spot after his breakout year as a freshman. The noseguard spot is interesting as Johnson and highly recruited freshman Jackson will probably hold down the position by committee.
DE– Trey Flowers, JaMichael Winston
DE– Deatrich Wise Jr., Tevin Beanum
Trey Flowers should have an All-SEC type season while Wise will fill Chris Smith’s spot from a year ago on the opposite side. However, it was just announced that Wise has a sprained knee, but they are hopeful that he will be back for the Auburn week. Beanum has improved greatly in practice and will be ready to go in place of Wise if need be.
MLB– Brooks Ellis, Josh Williams
SLB– Matrell Spaight, Dwayne Eugene
WLB– Braylon Mitchell, Daunte Carr, Randy Ramsey
Otha Peters will transfer to Louisiana-Lafayette so that puts Hackett right behind Ellis at the middle linebacker spot and the other two positions may also see playing time by another freshman in Dwayne Eugene or Randy Ramsey.
CB– Tevin Mitchell, Jared Collins, Henre’ Toliver
CB– Carroll Washington, D.J. Dean, Will Hines
SS– Alan Turner, Tiquention Coleman
FS– Rohan Gaines, De’Andre Coley
Carroll Washington has had an incredible offseason and is said to be the best cornerback that the Hogs have now. Him and Dean are pushing Hines who supposedly hasn’t responded very well in camp. Nothing should change in the safety spot although it should be noted that Coleman will be playing a lot at the nickel spot and should be a difference-maker there.
Comment below with your questions or opinions for the Arkansas football team.