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2021 Razorback Spring Football Preview: Running Backs

Trelon Smith will be the workhorse but several backs could offer their services in 2021.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Razorbacks could boast one of the fastest backfields in the SEC for 2021. The returns of Trelon Smith and TJ Hammonds, two of the fastest players on the team, will be who they lean on early on in the season. Redshirt freshman Dominique Johnson appeared in a few games with limited duties. However, many around the Razorback program believe Johnson could be moved to linebacker with the incoming crop of running backs in the 2021 recruiting class.

Arkansas returns 66-percent of their rushing offense including Smith who ran for 710 yards and five touchdowns. When he ran for touchdowns it usually resulted in long runs. Smith had an 82 yard touchdown versus Florida, a trio of touchdowns against Missouri and one against the LSU Tigers. His best performance came against Missouri in the “Battle Line Rivalry” when he rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He will be RB1.

Hammonds was a spark plug late in the season after Rakeem Boyd “opted out” for the remainder of the 2020 season. For his career, Hammonds has averaged nearly seven yards per carry in his collegiate career although he has played sparingly. Being able to split wide or in the slot as a receiver should help Hammonds receive more playing time in his sixth year at Arkansas. Thanks COVID! In his two plays against LSU he caught a pass for 51 yards and had a run for 29 yards. How about that for instant chunk plays. Can Hammonds finally do that on the regular in 2021? It has yet to be seen.

Arkansas has brought in a solid group of running backs in the top-25 recruiting class. AJ Green of Tulsa and Javion Hunt of Oklahoma City could both see playing time early. Hunt chose the Hogs over Ole Miss, Baylor, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa State and others. He recorded 800 all purpose yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior but his junior year is what put him on the radar rushing for 1200 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Green is the back that can be lightning in a bottle. When he finds a hole he can hit it and be gone. His highlight film from his high school days is similar to that of Ronnie Wingo. Speed, speed and the turbo jets! The four-star tailback led his Union High School team to the Oklahoma state semifinals. He led his team in rushing with 1325 yards and 19 touchdowns. How do we know he is fast? His 10.38 100 meter time during his freshman season in track gives fans hope of more Kendal Briles’ 1:00 minute drives. Green chose Arkansas over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, LSU, South Carolina and Texas Tech.

PROJECTED SPRING DEPTH CHART:

  1. Trelon Smith
  2. TJ Hammonds
  3. Javion Hunt (early enrollee)
  4. Dominque Johnson
  5. John Oglesby (walk-on from T&F)


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SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEWS

DL:https://www.sbnation.com/e/22039601

QB: https://www.sbnation.com/e/21999815