On the heels of signing a consensus top 25 class the Razorbacks bring in plenty of talent in hopes to kickstart the football program. In this article, a case will be made for an offensive player, defensive player and a wildcard player that will surprise in their freshman season.
OFFENSE: Ricky Stromberg, Offensive Line
Stromberg was a mid-December commitment and signed with Arkansas during the early signing period. He was injured throughout his junior season which set him behind the eight ball. With a tremendous senior season, he was given a late scholarship offer, flipped his commitment from Tulsa to Arkansas and signed a week later.
An interesting development through the offseason was the transformation of Stromberg’s body. The strength staff helped him lose weight to the point that he looked like a wide receiver halfway through he summer. They are currently putting the weight back on him which will be considered “good weight” before the beginning of fall practice. If Stromberg stayed healthy he likely would have been a higher rated prospect out of Tulsa but the Hogs landed a kid with a chip on his shoulder. Look for him to push for playing time at center.
DEFENSE: Enoch Jackson, Defensive Tackle
He was the first of the Mansfield Three to commit to the Razorbacks and he made sure he helped land the other three. An enthusiastic prospect, Jackson brings a lot more to the field that just his exuberance. Jackson brings an under the radar chip to the table. He uses a fast first step to make his way to the opposing backfield quickly, a burst that he can use tochase down skill players from sideline to sideline and he also moves like a linebacker. Many may say Collin Clay or Mataio Soli will bring the wood in 2018 but that is expected. Fans, you cannot forget about Jackson.
WILDCARD: Malik Chavis, Safety/Defensive Back
Chavis was the first instate player to commit to the Razorbacks in the 2019 class. Devin Bush, Jalen Catalon and Greg Brooks receive more attention due to their star power but Chavis possesses plenty of talent for the Razorbacks. His lightning fast speed at 4.3 could help shore up the lack of speed on defense over the past three seasons. He has quality hands, too, that could affect passers when they think of going his way. One other attribute you cannot forget about is having the “It Factor.” Being from a small 2A school, Chavis is possibly used to being labeled the big man on campus. Sometimes it does not translate to the college game but I fully expect Chavis to make an immediate impact for the Hogs in 2019 whether it be in the defensive backfield or on special teams. He is the wildcard of this class.
Do you have a prediction for a breakout freshman for 2019? Leave it in the comments below and let us know why you think your choice will surprise Razorback fans!