On Arkansas' running backs this spring and interesting player comparisons

http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2018 … ns-spring/

I held on to this story for a little bit. Got some really fun/interesting stuff from Randy Ramsey on Arkansas’ running backs last week as he recapped the first scrimmage of the spring.

Well, it is amazing that just four or five months ago we couldn’t do anything on the ground and instantly we have Ricky Williams and Barry Sanders in this “Three-Headed-Monster” backfield. Why do we do this each year? I’d love a more realistic insight as to where things are. Elevating our expectations each year to ridiculous levels is frustrating.

The coaches and players do it to us every year and the reporters can only report what they have been told. It is frustrating! I’ve determined to make my decision based on what my eyes see, and not expect too much from this next team (with my fingers crossed).

amount of off-season training. I have been dying for ANY info on this team, so I eat this stuff up. A quick review of our TB’s was nice to read.

Then he included some quotes from one of our defensive players, which is a nice personal touch, and funny to read. No one is trying to “get your hopes up”, it was just RR talking about some of his friends.

If Chavis had said something ridiculous like that, or if Scottie had given the opinion that we had 2 Heisman winners on our team, then you could scoff.

But that’s not what this article was, at all. How do you think RR is going to describe his teammates? They are all working hard, they are all obviously excited and very positive about their conditioning and new playbook.

Nice article, Scottie, I really appreciate any info on this new football regime!


Do you know how dull spring football practice can be? When I walked into the interview room last Monday I had my mind made up I was going to do something on the running backs group. They’ve stood out. And when I got gold from Ramsey I ran with it. It’s good stuff.

The running backs have been really good this spring. Sorry if that gets your hopes up, but they have. So who better to ask about the running backs than the guys who try to tackle them? I simply asked Ramsey what his assessment of the backs have been to this point. It’s not like I was prodding him, “Hey, which Heisman Trophy winner does Maleek Williams remind you of?”

It’s not like he was saying all of a sudden Arkansas has Ricky Williams and Barry Sanders in the backfield. It’s a player comparison based on how difficult Williams and TJ Hammonds have been to tackle this spring. I’ve not seen any defensive player take Williams down by himself. It takes several guys. I’m not kidding. Arkansas has a chance to be really good at that position this season. That’s a realistic insight as to where things are.

Of all the position groups, the running backs were the ones who stood out most during the open scrimmage. There is good talent there. There was talent there last year, but the lack of a good offensive line suppressed that some. There also was the injury to Chase Hayden, who was having a great freshman season.

David Williams was outstanding. He played really well last year. I still don’t understand why he didn’t get at least 20 carries per game. He was the best every down back we had and Chase Hayden was a great compliment to him. TJ Hammonds looked like he might be really good, but we just didn’t see much of him. Every time we did…he looked promising. Devwah Whaley…has been solid, but not the player we were told he might be. I remember Coach Bielema being quoted as saying Whaley was the best back he had ever recruited.

We have been spoiled at Arkansas. We have had some fantastic running backs in our history. One after another, it seemed. Forte, Eckwood, Cowins, Madre Hill, Cobbs, Talley, and many other great ones whom I can’t recall. Those were topped off by Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis and the incomparable Darren McFadden. Those are just some of the guys I remember off the top of my memory bank. There were many more. We know a great back when we see one, because we have seen a bunch of those kinds of players. I don’t see anybody on this squad who might be in that class, but who knows what lurks around the corner. I can’t wait to see.

I hope Devwah can return to his freshman form this year if the line has the ability to block. He struggled last year behind a bad line, plus I think he may have tried to do too much after Rawleigh went down. Even if he isn’t better, he may look better running in the spread. If not, there’s plenty of depth around him that will pass him by (if they haven’t already).

Devwah has All-SEC measureables, but he has no “wiggle” no vision. Don’t get me wrong he is a good back w/that combination of size and speed, but he is strictly a North/South runner.

Williams is a grown man! and he will very hard to stop in shirt yardage,I like him a lot!!

His physicality reminds me of some of the Alabama tailbacks during the Saban era. The first contact rarely brings him down.