Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was cautious with his management of former 5-star prospect McTelvin “Sosa” Agim’s playing time. The freshman defensive lineman appeared in limited action during the Razorbacks’ first eight games before making his first career start during the team’s 31-10 win over Florida Saturday.

According to Bielema, he wanted the former No. 18 overall prospect to make a steady transition to the college level, rather than rush him into a role he wasn’t yet ready for.

“One of the things I really pride myself on as a head coach is I don’t ever want to put a player in a position to fail,” Bielema said during his press conference Monday. “Sometimes, that’s not on the timetable that fans want or some of you may want or the outside world. But if you put a player in position on the field that he’s not ready to succeed, you can literally set him back months, if not a year, in his development.”

“… Sosa, he’s got a lot of talent and has to grow maturity-wise. He made a play where he gets two guys, splits them for a tackle for loss that is the definition of why we put him there.”

Bielema added, “He needed to learn to be coached. He needed to open his ears and hush his lips.”

It’s hard to argue against the coach, especially with Arkansas coming off its best defensive performance in months. Perhaps Agim is ready to take on the starting role full-time after his impressive performance in Week 10.