Predicting who will make the big jump from an unknown to a difference maker for a team is difficult. A handful of guys redshirted freshman year and have carved out a nice role on the team. Kevin Richardson, Santos Ramirez, Karl Roesler and Austin Allen all redshirted their freshman year. All four should get a healthy amount of playing time this year.
These four are my most likely to make the jump from redshirting to having a significant impact. Part of it comes with talent, and the other is opportunity to play. You won’t see Cole Kelley on this list because the only way he sees significant time is a scenario I just don’t want to think about.
Jordan Jones - WR
Jones was fighting for playing time in 2016 before the decision to redshirt. Now that move is looking like a smart one with the team looking to replace a lot of talent at receiver.
He has the speed to beat defenses and can be the deep threat the Hogs need with Jared Cornelius in the slot. Bret Bielema has also mentioned his name for potentially returning punts. Both Dan Enos and Austin Allen have singled out Jones for his positive play in the first week of fall camp as well.
Briston Guidry - DE
One of the highest rated recruits in the 2016 class, the former 4-star probably won’t start but should see the field plenty. McTelvin Agim has one of the defensive end spots locked up. Right now T.J. Smith looks like the other starter, but there will be a lot of rotation throughout the game and Guidry’s name is one that’s been brought up.
Guidry has shed a little bit of weight, now listed at 279 lbs., hopefully that means he’s in better shape and has some more speed.
Britto Tutt - CB
Not a redshirt freshman but is coming off a medical redshirt. Tutt was aiming for playing time last year before his injury shut him down for the year. The starters at corner back are locked in and there are some talented newcomers to battle, but if Tutt gets back to the level he was at before the injury he can do some good things for the Hogs.
Dee Walker - LB
Linebacker depth is really getting thin for the Hogs. It’s not even week one and we’re approaching all hands on deck mode. Dre Greenlaw and Scoota Harris are the top two at middle linebacker, and the outside linebacker positions are moving around some due to Jamario Bell’s injury. With the team taking precautions with Greenlaw, Walker has been one of the players getting first team reps alongside Harris.