Seven true freshmen highlight season-opening depth chart for Razorbacks
The Arkansas Razorbacks are just four days away from opening up their 2014 season against the Auburn Tigers. Four days from officially putting last year’s 3-9 debacle behind them.
With the release of the team’s depth chart yesterday, it appears the a good share of the responsibility to get the Hogs back to their winning ways will fall on the shoulders of the young guns. Seven true freshmen appear in the team’s depth chart for Auburn: wide receiver Jared Cornelius, center Frank Ragnow, right tackle Brian Wallace, nose guard Bijohn Jackson, weakside linebacker Dwayne Eugene, cornerback Henre’ Toliver and free safety Josh Liddell.
“We’re going to play more freshmen than I have ever played before, Bielema said Monday. “Not out of need, but just because they’re very, very good players.”
Wallace and Ragnow should be very much involved in the offensive line rotation for the Hogs in week 1. Wallace was one of the top offensive tackles in the 2014 recruiting class. At 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, he’s physically ready to make an impact. Bielema added that Ragnow will see playing time at center, despite Mitch Smothers receiving the starting nod at center. According to Bielema, Ragnow had a great camp this offseason.
“We’ve got that big offensive line now with depth that we never had,” Bielema explained. “The more we can get seven lineman out there with two tight ends and a couple of backs, I think that is a good thing.”
Jared Cornelius will be another freshman to watch out for. He’ll be involved in the Arkansas’ passing game, but he could also see time as one of the team’s primary returners. He’s currently listed as the team’s backup punt returner to sophomore cornerback DJ Dean and the team’s third option at one of the receiver positions.
None of the true freshmen are currently in starting roles, but because depth is such an important aspect for every SEC team, each of the seven players are expected to contribute in 2014.