Swoff’s Blog: Offseason Of Moving Parts To Begin Part I
As the 2018 Arkansas football season has come to a close, there is no question that there will be a lot of comings and goings from the Razorbacks program over the next few months.
When a team goes 2-10, the first 10-loss season in school history, you know there are going to be a lot of changes. @5NEWSBobby takes a look at every position and what could happen for the Razorbacks as they get ready to transition into the 2019 season.
Five players had transferred out of the program and Arkansas has 16 seniors on the roster as of the end of the season. They will not be mentioned below.
Note: These projections are strictly based on @5NEWSBobby’s opinions. They do not reflect the opinion of @5NEWS. We’ll take a look at the defense on Thursday.
Part I – The Offense
Possible Additions – Kelly Bryant, K.J. Jefferson
Possible Depatures – Ty Storey, Cole Kelley, Dalton Hyatt
This is the most important position in football. Period. The QB play for Arkansas in 2018 was bad and it was bad for a lot of reasons. Cole Kelley is likely leaving the program. He lost the starting job on multiple occasions and then did not travel with the team for the final two games. The university said due to an illness but rumors of a missed team flight and missed meetings have emerged. Either way, don’t expect to see Kelley back. Ty Storey would transfer if Kelly Bryant picks Arkansas when he makes his announcement on Dec. 4. If Bryant doesn’t choose the Hogs, Storey could be in the mix for the starting job in 2019. Connor Noland would have a good chance of winning the starting job as a redshirt-freshman but baseball is still a big storyline. How would missing spring practice hurt his chances? KJ Jefferson might complete for playing time as a true freshman should he sign with Arkansas but it’s dangerous to project a true freshman at QB1. Being firmly fourth on the current depth chart and talented players expected to join the program, Dalton Hyatt could decided to leave the program as well.
Possible Additions – A’Montae Spivey
Possible Departures – T.J. Hammonds, Maleek Williams
There likely isn’t much turnover at running back for the Hogs. TJ Hammonds seems to be the only potential departure as he hasn’t panned out to the level expected coming out of high school though he’s battled injuries in his three seasons. Rakeem Boyd needs to show he can stay healthy. Chase Hayden showed flashes of big things as a freshman but appeared to take a step back in 2018. Maleek Williams was the coaching staff’s favorite player to talk about in the preseason but that did not carry over to playing time in the fall. Does he make a splash in 2019 or would he look for a fresh start elsewhere? Devwah Whaley was banged up for much of the year and did not have the huge impact that was expect. We’ll see what his senior season has in store.
Possible Additions – Treylon Burks, Trey Knox, Shamar Nash, TQ Jackson
Possible Departures – Chase Harrell, Tobias Enlow
There’s a really good chance Tobias Enlow is the only player to leave from this position as he made the announcement on Tuesday. Arkansas has a stable of highly rated recruits coming in and all four have a chance to log extensive playing time in 2019. La’Michael Pettway, Deon Stewart, De’Vion Warren and Jordan Jones should factor more in the passing game but major improvements in consistency is needed across the board. Koilan Jackson is a player that has been lost on the depth chart and needs to make a push in his third season on campus. Chase Harrell transferred in but never produced on game day, largely in part to not being healthy.
Possible Additions – Hudson Henry
Possible Departures – Austin Cantrell
Without question, tight end was the most consistent and the most productive position on the offensive side of the ball. Austin Cantrell is forgoing his final season of eligibility and leaving football as he is set to graduate in December. Cheyenne O’Grady and Grayson Gunter are two big targets that have solid production. Add the nation’s top tight end recruit and it should be another strong year for the position.
Possible Additions – Beaux Limmer, Brady Latham, Dylan Rathcke
Possible Departures – Deion Malone
There is going to be a lot of change at offensive tackle for Arkansas in 2019. Brian Wallace has graduated and we saw Colton Jackson benched in the season finale against Missouri. Jackson was the starter from day one but injuries early in the season and poor play late in the year has his starting job in question. In addition to the three freshman listed above, Arkansas is going after multiple junior college tackles and would likely love to sign all three. Dalton Wagner and Noah Gatlin showed flashes of being viable options during their limited snaps in 2019. Kirby Adcock could factor in as well. Deion Malone was lost early in the season due to injury. Whether he decides to take a medical redshirt and return for another year is yet to be seen. There are zero commits currently at guard of center but position changes could come to play in those positions. Ty Clary, Austin Capps, Ryan Winkel and Silas Robinson could all be in the mix.