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Razorback Preview: The Offensive Line Should Be The Least Of Hog Fans Worries Sooner Than Later

Western Kentucky v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

During his previous tenure at Arkansas as offensive line coach/assistant head coach, Sam Pittman built the stoutest, largest offensive line in all of football. What is incredible is what he was able to do to help transform the bodies of his lineman. Pittman inherited a smaller offensive line when he showed up to Fayetteville the first time. He also started two freshman offensive lineman during week five of the 2013 season. Obviously, he is very confident in the lineman he brings in and builds them up through the years that they are on campus. This fall, he and new offensive line coach, Brad Davis will look to field an offensive line that will at least resemble the one he inherited his first time around on The Hill.

According to the official roster on arkansasrazorbacks.com, Arkansas’ offensive line averaged 317.90 pounds. All of the lineman already on the roster were over 300 pounds which is a preference amongst members of the SEC. By the time 2014 came around, Pittman had his offensive line touted as the “largest offensive line in football. No, that is not just college football but NFL, too. A wizard, Pittman’s offensive lines during his time at Arkansas only allowed 36 TOTAL SACKS in THREE SEASONS. Whoa. Since his departure to Georgia in the winter of 2016, the Razorbacks compiled a total of 119 sacks which averages out to be 29.75 sacks per season.

That is something they know that needs to be changed is sack numbers but also adding weight to their current lineman, too. Pittman has been on camera recently stating that all the current offensive linemen on campus are over 300 pounds now. Due to those numbers not being on the Razorbacks website we will base this off what Pittman and Davis have inherited at Arkansas. An offensive line that is 17 pounds lighter than the one he inherited seven years ago. Another interesting note is Arkansas brought in three new offensive lineman that were heavier than eleven others. We all knew then that “bully ball” would be back amongst the trenches at Arkansas.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Myron Cunningham

Noah Gatlin

Ricky Stromberg

Ty Clary

Dalton Wagner

I would be very surprised if you do not see a few rotations here and there early on during the 2020 season where you see redshirt sophomore lineman Luke Jones and the true freshman trio of Marcus Henderson, Jalen St. John and Ray Curry all play at different points. Do not forget Chad Morris did bring in some quality lineman, too. Ryan Winkel, Dylan Rathcke and Brady Latham were all spread scheme guys and likely could blend well amongst the new offensive scheme install under new coordinator Kendal Briles.

PROJECTED BACKUP LINE:

Ryan Winkel

Dylan Rathcke

Luke Jones/Shane Clenin

Jalen St. John

Marcus Henderson

However the season shapes up fans can all be in agreement that the offensive line will be the most improved position on the team. As long as Sam Pittman is in charge, I will “guaran-dang-tee” that the line will be the least of Razorback fans worries for years to come.

PERSONAL NOTE
I do not usually do this a lot but I want to give a huge happy birthday wish to my good friend, Kyle Valance! Kyle is a HUGE Hog fan and a faithful one at that. They say that Razorback fans are the most loyal to their friends because if they can stay loyal to the Razorbacks they will always stay faithful to you. Anyways, happy birthday Kyle! Hope it was a blessed day. Woo pig sooie!