FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas true freshman Devwah Whaley has been slowly working his way into the rotation throughout the Hogs’ first seven games this season and is now the team’s clear No. 2 back.
Whaley — a Beaumont, Texas, native who was one the top-rated high school backs in his recruiting class — has carried the ball 46 times for 306 yards and a touchdown behind starter Rawleigh Williams III, who leads the SEC in rushing yardage.
The true freshman is even more important to the Razorbacks now after senior Kody Walker’s career-ending foot surgery earlier this week.
Whaley spoke to reporters after Arkansas’ Wednesday practice. Here’s a look at some of what he had to say.
Q: Are you getting more comfortable with the college game?
A: Like I said at the beginning (of the season), it’s a process. I’m getting more and more comfortable and it’s showing.
Was it difficult to go from being a high school star to playing at the college level?
Yeah, it was. When I first came in, everybody is bigger, faster stronger. I’m coming in from high school, so you just have to adjust, work hard and pick up on things you need to know.
How much has having Rawleigh here helped that transition?
It’s helped a lot, him and Kody. I look up to them like they’re big brothers. They’re always helping me with anything. Any little questions I have, they always answer them.
What was your reaction to Kody’s career being over?
It’s a sad moment, but Kody is always there. He’s always going to be here for us. He’s going to be the leader of the group. He’s like a big brother to all of us.
Pass protection is something you struggled with early this season. Is that something you’ve been focused on in practice?
That’s the main thing I’ve really tried to focus on. Each week I’ve been getting better and better with the game plan.
Why is that something that is so difficult for freshmen backs?
It’s a lot of things. Coming in from high school, you really don’t do things like that. It’s a big difference. You just have to adjust.