5 days: Otha Peters and Eric Hawkins

D-Mac doing D-Mac things. And by the way, what's so wrong with the unis? - ArkansasRazorbacks.com

...and this other big, fast kid from the 501

You can do this. There are million ways to keep yourself busy. Run some errands, pick up some extra chores and earn some points with the significant other, play some golf, go for a run, hit the lake, read a book, obsess over your fantasy football team, watch some high school football, play with the kids.

Whatever you do, don't sit around waiting on Saturday or these intervening five days will feel like 50. So let's waste a few minutes looking ahead, and then a few more looking back.

First the present/future...

Otha Peters, So.  LB

Peters was considered a big "get" for the Hogs in the recruiting class of 2012, then showed why when he cracked the starting lineup as a true freshman. Though he looked out of place at times, he flashed enough potential to excite fans about his long-term prospects in the middle of the Arkansas defense.

Then the regime change came for the coaching staff, rebooting the depth chart and leaving Peters fighting for a starting spot -- he was listed at second team on the post-spring depth chart. Still, it was expected by many -- if not most -- that when crunch time came, Peters would be on the field more often than not.

The bigger blow, however, came last week when it was announced that Peters would be out 6-8 weeks due to a broken arm. It's an injury that leaves a much-questioned linebacker position even thinner than expected (especially coupled with an injury to fellow sophomore standout A.J. Turner). But position coach Randy Shannon seems happy with the upperclassmen expected to start in Saturday's game against UL-Lafayette.

Eric Hawkins, RFr., WR

Speaking of positions beset by preseason injury, linebacker may be topped only by wide receiver this year. Already we know that possible starter Demetrius Wilson is out for the year, and up-and-coming sophomore D'Arthur Cowan will miss 6-8 weeks with a foot injury. Also, one of last year's leaders at the position, Mekale McKay, decided to transfer before the beginning of fall camp.

That leaves the Hogs with just two legitimately experienced WRs (Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton), one sophmore with three career catches (Keon Hatcher), and a handful of freshmen.

But it may not be as bleak as it sounds. The depth at tight end is much better (even considering the Austin Tate injury), and though none of us know what shape the Bielema/Jim Chaney offense will take in 2013, it wouldn't be a surprise to see more two-tight end and fewer three-wide receiver sets -- even in passing situations. As the New England Patriots and others have shown, when you've got the right targets (and the Hogs might with Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle), you can pass effectively from multiple-tight end looks.

When 3- and 4-receiver sets are called for, Hawkins should get a chance to show his speed; he was clocked at 10.51 in the 100 meter dash in high school and should give the Hogs a deep threat that seems to be missing elsewhere on the depth chart (though freshman WR Melvinson Hartfield may also eventually play that role).

Hawkins' wheels have also earned him a spot on special teams, where he's listed as a starting kickoff returner, along with Nate Holmes.

And now a look back...

...because when you're talking No. 5 at Arkansas, you're bound by law (or you should be, at least) to tip your cap to Darren McFadden.

Aside from being one of the most gifted athletes to ever come from the state of Arkansas or to grace an SEC backfield, D-Mac, more than most players, was blessed/afflicted with the same inexorable state pride as the fans he represented.

From his Arkansas-themed tattoos to his recent tweets chastising Arkansans who chose to play their college ball elsewhere, McFadden always seemed to be a fan first, then a player.

For that (and for this), he's one of the most-loved players in program history.

Brent Holloway is an escaped journalist, but will consider returning to the industry for hundreds of thousands of dollars and a position that doesn't require Waffle House hours. Follow him on Twitter @thebholloway.

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