Whether it was scheme, not having the players for what the coaches or wanting to do or the talent wasn’t there...eh, who knows. The defensive line has been more than suspect for a long time now but with the recruiting that has gone on to bolster the positions amongst the line they could be very improved under the new staff.
Former defensive tackle/end McTelvin Agim was a five star prospect coming out of Hope High School but many said he did not live up to the hype but I beg to differ. Agim had a very solid career and was very effective at stopping the run and was a sure tackler but played on a subpar team throughout his career.
This season, Arkansas has created depth with very good recruiting classes and upperclassmen combined to make a hopeful run to a few SEC wins this fall. If the line can come together and be a solid group there is hope of the goal being reached.
So, who are a few of those lineman we hope to see do well this fall? Jonathan Marshall is a big man with agility on his side. In the past, he’s been reported to be one of the most athletic on the team along with the strongest. With one more chance to make an impact Marshall will be one to watch in 2020.
Obviously, you do not want to forget about Dorian Gerald. He was very effective in his one half played last season versus Portland State. He was dangerous getting to the quarterback versus Portland State and was poised for a great senior season before being sidelined with a strained artery in his neck that required him to miss the rest of the season.
Enoch Jackson, Tauren Carter, Isaiah Nichols and David Porter are some other young lineman that you hope will see more playing time this season. Nichols was seen on a few occasions last season early on. Jackson and Carter were highly recruited out high school on Texas but redshirted in 2019. Porter is another one you have been hoping to see a lot of. He was a part of the 2017 recruiting haul and is from Little Rock. According to his twitter, he says he is poised and ready to make a splash in 2020.
Jaqualin McGhee will not join the Razorbacks this year as was noted in the meeting yesterday with Pittman. “He no longer wants to play football,” said Pittman. With Toll moving back to defensive line and Andy Boykin looking like a stud should bolster the line this season. Also, the addition of junior college defensive end, Julian Coates could be a darkhorse to receive playing time. He has the frame and build to be something special under Odom. Eric Thomas could be one that redshirts, too, depending on the depth of the line.
An instant impact addition of Xavier Kelly who transferred from Clemson this off-season is expected to do well at Arkansas. Pittman was very complimentary of him yesterday and should be a starter in his final season of collegiate eligibility.