FAYETTEVILLE -- Don't be surprised if offensive guard Ty Clary spends his freshman year either playing considerably or not at all for the Arkansas Razorbacks this season.
It seems him playing just a little would waste a lot.
Forsaking a redshirt year truly seems a sizable squander for nearly all offensive linemen except those rookies truly ready to play or by team needs forced to play as the best available.
More than any position, it seems the considerable time required for physical and mental development for an offensive lineman to excel that a redshirted lineman's fifth-year season would far exceed his productivity posted as a true freshman.
As a local of Fayetteville High School's 2016 state championship team attending the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Clary arrived on campus as a blueshirt, a walk-on with legitimate expectations eventually to receive a scholarship.
Blueshirts at most any position are presumed to redshirt, especially in the offensive line. Redshirting seemed Clary's certain destination from the July 27-Aug 9 portion of preseason practice. Never did a coach say anything that the media presumed wouldn't be a topic until maybe a couple of years down the road.
But when asked after his Razorbacks scrimmaged Aug. 16 whom among his true freshmen could help right away, Coach Bret Bielema volunteered Clary among them.
"In the offensive line there's a very good shot Ty Clary will play for us," Bielema replied.
Isn't that a huge surprise?
"Not really," Bielema replied.
Bielema said his two assistants who evaluated Clary at Fayetteville High last fall -- offensive coordinator Dan Enos and Robb Smith, the former Arkansas defensive coordinator who is now the University of Minnesota defensive coordinator -- advised him late in the recruiting game that Clary could be someone special.
"I think it was late November, if I'm not mistaken," Bielema said. "Both of them went to a Fayetteville practice and both of them called back and were like, 'Coach, Ty Clary has more than enough skill and development.' "
And, the staff learned when Clary reported for the Razorbacks' summer conditioning program, the want-to and the muscle to do what he wants.
"The part that was probably surprising for us with him was when he got in this weight room this summer," Bielema said. "The weight he was able to throw around and move. The night I watched when the O-line and D-line competed, the way he was pushing around the sled was pretty impressive. He's conscientious. A very, very pleasing young man and not a surprise."
From that, Clary sounds like the backup to junior incumbent right guard Johnny Gibson.
Don't bet the house on it.
Unlike the defensive line, with constant substitutions to alleviate the fatigue from pass-rushing, the starting offensive line tends to play games from start to finish.
So before the Aug. 31 season opener against a decided underdog conceivably allowing opportunity for Clary to play considerably, Bielema must weigh the remaining schedule to decide whether Ty Clary should play at all.
Sports on 08/23/2017
Print Headline: Clary trying to work himself into PT