Lack of star power is a major concern for Arkansas football in 2013. With Tyler Wilson, Cobi Hamilton and Knile Davis all gone to the NFL, it’s easy to assume the Hogs will struggle on offense. But all you have to do is look up front on the lines.
Senior Travis Swanson anchors a veteran offensive line and for the third straight year Swanson is being named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List as the nation’s best center. This adds another preseason recognition to his list that includes preseason All-America and All-SEC acclaim heading into the 2013 season. Last season, Swanson was a team captain and earned second-team All-SEC honors, leading an offensive line that blocked as 24 school or SEC records were broken and allowed just 1.58 sacks per game to rank third in the conference.
With all the doom and gloom, the lines might just give Arkansas a chance in 2013. Sports Talk’s Bo Mattingly gives his opinion on how the offensive and defensive lines might play a factor.
“Arkansas has some star players or at least they have that potential,” said Mattingly. They’re just not at the sexy skill positions. It’s up front on the offensive and defensive lines. When you think about Chris Smith being on a national award watch list. Byran Jones is listed as a top 6 defensive tackle. It’s the best defensive line league in the country. Trey Flowers at the other defensive end. These are all guys that will probably play in the NFL to go along with Travis Swanson.”
Tackle David Hurd joins Swanson as the other senior on the offensive line. Junior Brey Cook moves to guard after starting at tackle last season.