FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — McTelvin “Sosa” Agim arrived in Arkansas in January as a freshman early enrollee with massive expectations.
He was the cornerstone of the Razorbacks’ 2016 recruiting class and the first 5-star recruit the program had signed since 2009.
So far, his coaches and teammates have indicated he has a 5-star attitude to go along with his talent.
“He’s a special guy,” defensive coordinator Robb Smith said. “He’s well-liked by his teammates. He’s well respected. He comes and works every day. There’s ups and downs like there is with everybody else, but he works through that. He has high goals for himself and he holds himself to a certain standard. He practices hard. If he stay on that track, they’ll be good things for Sosa throughout his career.”
Based on the progress he’s made since arriving on campus, Agim will almost certainly see playing time immediately in a deep defensive line rotation. He recently spoke to reporters about his relationship with the veteran defensive linemen, his added weight and more.
Q: Have the older guys helped you out at all?
A: “I’ve learned a lot from all of them. JaMichael (Winston), Deatrich (Wise Jr.), (Jeremiah) Ledbetter, Tevin (Beanum), everybody has taught me something. Everything from how you conduct yourself outside of the football facility to how to handle meetings and practice. I’ve learned a little from every one of them.”
How do you fit in with that veteran group?
“They’ve taken me under their wing. I feel like I’ve fit in good. I feel like they can tell that I want to play and that I’m putting my all into it. They respect that. It’s all love in the room.”
How much did coming in January help you?
“It got me very far ahead of the some of the freshmen that are just coming in right now. It got me ahead of freshmen across the country that are just coming in this June and July. I’ve been here learning the plays, learning the techniques, things like that.”
Have you gained weight?
“I have. I’m 290 right now. I was probably 285 not too long ago, I’m 290 now. In January when I came in I was like 268.”
What’s it been like learning to play with that weight?
“I haven’t seen too much of a difference. The coaches say as long as I haven’t seen too much of a difference with the gained weight, I’m all right. It’s been feeling pretty good.”
What’s your ideal playing weight?
“Around 285, 280 … something like that. So it’s not too much for me to lose five pounds, something like that.”
How much does the defensive line depth help?
“I feel like that’s going to be an advantage on our side. We’ve got so many defensive linemen. We’ve got so many seniors, and we’ve got young guys stepping up. So us being able to plug people in any time in the game … if it’s fast tempo and we get a break, we can put somebody in there and believe he can play his gap, play his position and do the correct technique.”
What’s your energy level like during so far in fall camp?
“I feel like I’ve taken it along well. I feel like I’m not trying to do too much. I’m playing in the right gaps, the right technique, things like that. The hardest part was staying in my gap, trying not to make every play. This defense is a system, we have to play in the system for the defense to work. So me going out of my gap trying to chase down the running back, and he bounces back and goes through the gap I was supposed to be in, that was hurting me. But now I’ve learned that, so it’s been a good adjustment.”