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SEC Impact Freshmen: Arkansas

With the SEC season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)

2014 Record:

7-6 (2-6 SEC); 7th SEC West

2015 Team Ranking

National Rank No. 23

SEC Rank: No. 11

Class Breakdown

5-star: 0

4-star: 7

3-star: 16

Top Incoming Prospects

  • DT Hjate Froholdt- 4-star, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL), 6-4, 282 lbs, No. 15 DT, No. 143 overall
  • TE C.J. O’Grady- 4-star, Fayetteville (Fayetteville, AR), No. 6 TE, No. 198
  • TE Will Gragg- 4-star, Dumas (Dumas, AR), 6-4, 245 lbs, No. 8 TE, No. 205 overall
  • SDE Jamario Bell- 4-star, Junction City (Junction City, AR), 6-6, 225 lbs, No. 13 SDE, No. 220 overall
  • PRO Ty Storey- 4-star, Charleston (Charleston, AR), 6-3, 216 lbs, No. 10 PRO, No. 224 overall

Class Overview

Arkansas recruiting class is a lot of what you’d expect from a Bret Bielema coached team. Two of the team’s top prospects are tight ends, most of the early enrollees are linemen and there’s a three-star running back in Rawleigh Williams III who will likely exceed expectations running the ball an unhealthy amount of times.

Bielema knows his style of play and has recruited the personnel to fit his scheme. His offense is based on a hard running game and a big offensive line looking to win battles in the trenches.

While Arkansas is set in both areas for the upcoming season, many key players are set to depart in 2016. The Razorbacks could lose their entire starting offensive line, as well as junior tailback Alex Collins and senior Jonathan Williams.

It’s not about five-star wide receivers or finesse. It’s about ground and pound and tight end production. Hunter Henry and AJ Derby were among the Razorbacks’ top-3 receiving yards leaders in 2014. With Derby gone, one of the two freshmen will have a solid role behind Henry as the team’s No. 2 tight end.

Arkansas returns starters Taiwan Johnson at nose guard and Darius Philon at defensive tackle. But early enrollees Froholdt and Jeremiah Ledbetter should see playing time in the defensive rotation on the interior line as true freshmen.

The Razorbacks’ 2015 class lacks star power but has the potential to be the perfect fit for the Bielema style. The coach focused once again on recruiting big linemen and building toward a Big Ten style offense, while also addressing future needs on the interior defensive line.

Arkansas’ class will be much like its first three under Bielema and the style of play should continue in the near future.

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