Every preseason we stargaze into the future of what could be for newcomers to the Razorback football team. This season is no different as head coach, Sam Pittman brought in a quality haul in a short amount of time to begin his tenure. With just 9 days to sign players for the early signing period he was behind the 8-ball but recovered nicely. Who of that haul could make an impact as soon as this season?
The obvious choice would be Myles Slusher who was the highest signed of the 2020 class. He was committed to the Oregon Ducks for much of his recruitment although he seemed a Hog lean early on. A kid that has very good hops, good size and speed will add talent to the secondary. If he can add some weight to his frame it will allow him to go up against taller, larger receivers. He may not start early on but expect Slusher to crack the rotation in the secondary.
The defensive line was bolstered throughout the offseason with the addition of Julius Coates and Xavier Kelly. Both of them have shown up as quality options during fall practice this week. Coates (6’6 289) has the frame to be a great rush end. Arkansas has had good defensive ends through the years but it has been awhile since they have been this deep at the position. With the addition of Clemson transfer, Kelly, Arkansas will have a player that could be the anchor of the defense and provide a cog for the run game. Arkansas has given up numerous rushing yards up the gut of their defense especially in 2019 where they gave up 223 yards rushing per game ranked 124th in the country out of 130. A historically bad defense looking to improve greatly this fall.
On offense there is one choice I have had for an impact newcomer and that is Darin Turner (6’3 218). A physical specimen by nature, he has speed to get away from his defender. The best thing about him is his size. Just by watching the video one would say that he could be lined up at the tight end position due to his frame. If he is as physical as his twitter name suggests Arkansas could have their next “Megatron” of sorts. During his senior season at Memphis Central Turner hauled in 17 receptions for 304 yards and 5 touchdowns. Turner was also the 14th rated receiver in the country according to Rivals.