The Arkansas football team has recently wrapped up spring practice in preparation for the 2014 season and Bret Bielema is looking for some newcomers to make an impact this season.
After going 3-9 a year ago, there will be plenty of chances for some young, new guys to come in and get significant playing time early.
Here are the top three newcomers that I think will make the biggest impact on the upcoming season.
Jared Cornelius WR
I’ve already raved over this guy and have been extremely impressed with him this spring. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver from Louisiana may not have overwhelming size, but he has overwhelming athletic ability.
He has tremendous hands and elusiveness in space which makes him a perfect target for Brandon Allen.
The receiver position may be the top spot in need of playmakers especially with leading receivers Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton graduating after a disappointing season from the position a year ago.
Cornelius could also come in and take over some punt return reps as well. He gained some much needed ground over his fellow freshman by enrolling early and that’s why I think he’ll be able to make an impact early and often.
Bihjon Jackson DT
Jackson was the top-ranked recruit out of the state of Arkansas this class and the Hogs got a good one with him.
Jackson comes in with SEC size at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds and has great mobility. Recently he broke the Arkansas state power clean record at 360 pounds which shows the strength that he’ll be only improving on when he reaches campus.
Darius Philon emerged as a playmaker on the inside last season, but with Robert Thomas graduating, Jackson could come right into the position without missing a beat. He will be fighting for playing itme against Ke’Tyrus Marks and DeMarcus Hodge, but this should be a spot by committee with all four guys seeing significant playing time.
Frank Ragnow OL
Ragnow is a big, four-star recruit from Minnesota with a remarkable potential. The Army All-American Bowl lineman stands at a tall 6-foot-6 and weighs 285 pounds, but is extremely athletic for his size.
In high school he also helped out on the defensive line where he recorded 102 tackles in his senior year and he also played on the basketball team.
His nice size and athleticism along with his passion is why I think he will come in and become a factor right when he steps on campus.
The offensive line is still searching for someone to take over the vacancy that Travis Swanson left at center and the coaches think that Ragnow could come right in and challenge for that spot.
It’s obvious that the Arkansas football team needs help on both sides of the ball in order to avoid another embarrassing season. Hopefully these three and other prospects will be a perfect fit for the Hogs.
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Others that will have an impact:
- WR Jojo Robinson
- OT Brian Wallace
- K Cole Hedlund
- OT Sebastian Tretola
- WR Cody Hollister