After practice Wednesday, defensive coordinator Robb Smith talked to the media about an Arkansas defensive lineman.

“He’s a guy that flashed early in camp. I think he is going to have a big game and helps us out in a lot of ways on Saturday.”

No, he’s not talking about Trey Flowers. And he’s not talking about Darius Philon.

Defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. committed to Arkansas in August of 2011, prior to his senior season. At just 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, Wise had the tools to become a disruptive defensive end off the edge, but not right away. He needed time to develop and grow physically.

Now after two seasons in the Arkansas strength program and a solid redshirt freshman season debut, Wise is ready to join the ranks of the top defensive ends in the conference.

He’s put on nearly 40 pounds since his commitment to Arkansas and the hard work in the weight room and in the offseason is paying off in a major way for the Carrellton, Tex. native.

Just ask Johnny Manziel.

“The part about Deatrich is he is a kid with unbelievable talent, a lot of God-given ability,” said head coach Bret Bielema this past spring. “He has begun to scratch the surface of how good he can be.”

After a redshirt freshman season where he recorded 17 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks, Wise gave fans even more of a showing during this year’s Red and White game. The redshirt sophomore paced the defense with a forced fumble and five sacks in the spring game. No other defender had more than two sacks.

Wise has a great combination of speed and strength for a defensive lineman. He gets good separation from opposing lineman with quick hands and that additional 40 pounds doesn’t hurt either. Now in his third year in the program, Wise has the opportunity to make a big jump in production.

“He has definitely shown great signs…it just has to be consistent on first, second and third down,” Bielema said.

Another sign of progress for Wise has been his maturity. He’s attributed his growth to both senior defensive end Trey Flowers as well as the change in his approaching the mental aspect of the game.

As a redshirt sophomore, Wise realizes his attitude can have an effect on his production moving forward.

“What’s the point of having the skills if you don’t know what to do with them. I want to learn more about the X’s and O’s about the defense so it can evolve and I can get better,” said Wise back in April.

Wise suffered a sprained knee earlier in fall camp, but Bielema has announced he’ll be ready for Auburn. He’s got the opportunity to take the Arkansas defensive line from a good one to a great one and I expect many more we’ll know the name Deatrich Wise Jr. by the end of the season.