FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – There are plenty of position battles this preseason for the Arkansas Razorbacks but none may be more intense than the offensive line.
As many as eight players could see time this season with the center and both guard spots still up for grabs. Plenty of new faces have been added to the mix but that hasn’t changed the attitude of the group.
“We brought in two freshman, one senior and one graduate student, one junior college transfer and our room is probably closer than it was before the guys came in there,” offensive line coach Sam Pittman said.
Sebastian Tretola is the junior transfer who is looking for a starting spot but he said that the new competition will be better in the long term.
“I think it makes a player better,” Tretola said. “When you know that coach is bringing in somebody to potentially take your spot, I think it makes you play that much harder. I think it makes you go that much harder in practice and maybe and maybe harder that you wouldn’t go if that guy wasn’t there.”
Luke Charpentier is among those battling it out at center. As much as the senior wants to win the starting job, he said the goal hasn’t changed for him or his teammates.
“The competition brings out the better in us,” Charpentier said. “We realize we’re all here for one goal, one purpose to play offensive line. The best five are going to be on the field but ultimately our goal is to win games.”
Freshman Frank Ragnow was one of the biggest signees of the 2014 class and has showed up for fall camp and proven that. The physical side of things hasn’t been an issue for the Minnesota native but the mental side is where he is playing catchup.
“Physically I feel like I’m ready, that’s for sure,” Ragnow said. “I’m feeling like I can compete against everyone. I’m strong enough, I’m quick enough and all that but right now what I’m really working on is just trying to see blitzes and the little things.”