FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Dozens of new Razorbacks reported to campus Wednesday for the beginning of fall camp. Arkansas begins practice Thursday, and the 2016 season opener is Sept. 3 against Louisiana Tech at home.
Here’s a look at 10 Arkansas newcomers to watch throughout fall camp.
McTelvin Agim, Fr., DE
Agim is one of the most highly-sought recruits to choose Arkansas in years, and he got a head start by enrolling early and going through spring practices. Considering the Hogs’ depth along the defensive line, it’s unclear exactly how much he’ll play right out of the gate, but you can pretty much guarantee he will be involved in a significant way by the end of the season.
“A very, very talented player,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said last week. “A very gifted player. He’s changed his body from the spring, when he was putting on a lot of weight in a hurry. Now he’s been able to trim it off a bit. He looks really good. And I’m excited about his temperament, his attitude and everything else.”
Briston Guidry, Fr., DT
Guidry, a New Orleans-area, 4-star prospect, is another freshman whose talent could insert him into an already strong defensive line rotation. He is projected as a 3-technique because of his combination of size (6-foot-3, 294 pounds) and explosive playmaking ability.
T.J. Hammonds, Fr., RB/WR
Hammonds also was a 4-star prospect, but the Little Rock native has been overshadowed a bit by Devwah Whaley (see below). He is capable of playing multiple offensive positions but as of now is working at running back.
De’Jon Harris, Fr., LB
Arkansas needed help at linebacker, which is why the Hogs signed four of them in the 2016 recruiting class. Harris was an under-recruited prospect, but there is lots of excitement about him within the Arkansas football offices. Harris quarterbacked his high school team to its first Louisiana state championship game appearance in a generation, causing Bielema to imply that he might have some role on offense in specialized packages.
Jake Heinrich, Fr., OL
Bielema never has been afraid to play true freshman offensive linemen, and considering the lack of experience returning there, why shouldn’t Heinrich be included on this list? It seems like a long shot, but don’t count out the freshman from Iowa.
Cole Kelley, Fr., QB
Yes, Arkansas knows who its starting quarterback is going to be. Junior Austin Allen secured that spot with his performance in the spring. But the battle to be Allen’s No. 2 remains wide open. Kelley’s arm strength, intelligence and maturity — combined with the fact that no one other than Allen stood out in the spring — might allow him to swoop in and be Allen’s backup. I’m not saying that’s definitely going to happen or is even probable, but it’s certainly possible.
Paul Ramirez, Jr., OL
The transfer from San Bernardino Valley (Calif.) College didn’t arrive on campus until late May, but with so little returning experience on the offensive line, Ramirez (6-6, 289 pounds) definitely will be in the mix.
Michael Taylor, So., DE
Taylor was a late addition to the Hogs’ 2016 signing class. The Riverside (Calif.) City College transfer recorded four sacks and 50 tackles last season, but considering his late arrival, it’s probably unrealistic to expect much from him early in the season. He’s still a newcomer to watch, though, because of his potential down the road.
Britto Tutt, So., DB
After one year at Ventura (Calif.) College, the Georgia native earned a late scholarship offer from the Hogs and took it. Although he didn’t arrive on campus until the summer, Tutt could find himself in the mix at cornerback. It’s highly unlikely he would surpass Jared Collins, DJ Dean and Henre’ Toliver on the depth chart, but there’s no reason to think he couldn’t be part of the rotation.
Devwah Whaley, Fr., RB
The 4-star prospect picked Arkansas over offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas. Considering the lack of experience Arkansas returns in the backfield, you can expect Whaley to receive every opportunity to be the top ball carrier in 2016.