We don't really like acknowledging that the 2012 season actually existed. I like to think we've moved on. But occasionally, we get reminded that there were actually a few really bright spots that we can be proud of, as well as use to get excited for 2013.
Cobi Hamilton is sometimes referred to as the only positive note from 2012, but defensive end Chris Smith should be in the same conversation. Smith was named to the honorable mention All-SEC team after tallying 52 tackles (13 for loss) and 9.5 sacks. The 9.5 sacks were the fourth highest in the SEC and tied for 24th nationally. He was twice named SEC co-defensive lineman of the week.
That performance led to Smith being voted to the All-SEC first team at SEC Media Days. His company on the defensive line 1st team are Jadeveon Clowney, Dominique Easley, and Anthony Johnson, so Smith is in pretty elite company.
Despite everything else, the Razorbacks were actually pretty good at rushing defense in 2012, ranking 21st in the country in rushing yards allowed per game, and a lot of that is due to Arkansas' success on the defensive line, and Smith is a huge part of that.
Smith came to Arkansas from West Rowan High School in North Carolina. He's heading into his senior year and is already ranked 12th on Arkansas' all-time sacks list. It'll be fun to see how far he can climb on that list this fall.