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Arkansas Football Countdown: 68 Days - Austin Beck

Is August yet?

Sophomore offensive tackle Austin Beck (68)
Sophomore offensive tackle Austin Beck (68)
University of Arkansas

No. 68
Austin Beck
Offensive tackle
6-7, 298

Through two seasons in Fayetteville, Beck has yet to see the field, but that should change early in the Hogs' Aug. 31 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Beck chose Arkansas out of Nowata High School in Oklahoma over offers from Missouri, Baylor and Illinois in 2011. He spent his first season as a redshirt and failed to log any action last fall, but the regime change -- along with some attrition on the offensive front -- brought a fresh start and Beck will enter this season vying for significant playing time at tackle.

He's currently listed as the second-team left tackle behind returning starter David Hurd, but with Hurd on the shelf due to injury, Beck started the spring game and earned compliments from coach Bret Bielema, who said Beck made "big strides" over the final two weeks of the spring.

Hurd should be fine for the start of fall practice, but also keep an eye on the battle at right tackle. Sophomore Grady Ollison is currently slotted as the starter there and has been touted by the current and former coaching staff for his natural ability. But like Beck, he's green, having never started a game on the offensive line. There are also the incoming freshmen who could add to the competition -- notably 6-foot-10 Dan Skipper and four-star Florida product Denver Kirkland, who could end up on the interior.

Success along the offensive line will be crucial -- even more than usual this season -- as Arkansas breaks in a fresh crop of skill players on offense. Beck has as good a chance as any to be part of that success this year and in the ones to come.