No Hogs, no worries.
While the Razorbacks try to rebuild, there’ll be some players from Arkansas to keep you entertained during the bowl season, and possibly all the way to the national championship game. I’ve updated our list from September of Arkansans who’ve made an impact with their college teams this season.
We’ll start with the two players you likely saw Saturday at the Iron Bowl in the biggest rivalry in college football.
DL, Alabama (Sr.)
Frazier earned his “Hello, Hog” moment when he burst through the line and slammed an Arkansas running back for a loss near the goal line in Alabama’s 41-9 victory over the Razorbacks on Oct. 14.
Frazier has been in the rotation on the defensive line all year, starting with the Florida State game when he batted down two passes. He’ll leave Alabama with championship rings on his fingers and with a recommendation from Nick Saban for any professional team that wants to take a chance on him.
That’s why players go to Alabama, even the ones who could’ve been starters elsewhere.
WR, Auburn (Jr.)
At 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, the former walk-on has provided big plays for the Tigers with touchdown catches of 49, 47, and 19 yards.
The CBS cameras showed replays of Hastings’ route-running ability against Mississippi State, when he faked a defender and caught a long pass all alone for a touchdown. Hastings is a fan favorite who’ll entertain the home team again next year as a senior.
DL, Missouri (Fr.)
Byers is back with Missouri after missing a month of practice because of a strained left knee.
“Akial has had a really good year for a true freshman,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said prior to the Tigers’ 48-45 victory over the Razorbacks. “He’s playing meaningful snaps and doing a really good job.”
Friday was a homecoming for Byers along with former Fayetteville High standouts Taylor Powell and Barrett Banister, who each received praise from Odom for their work on the scouts teams as true freshmen this season.
DB, Oklahoma (Fr.)
(Fort Smith Northside)
Anyone who watched Oklahoma’s 62-52 victory over Oklahoma State saw a lot of No. 13 making plays in the secondary for the Sooners.
That was Tre Norwood, a freshman from Fort Smith Northside. Norwood came off the bench and led Oklahoma with seven tackles and two pass breakups against the Cowboys. Norwood has played in every game this season and he’s destined to be a three-year starter beginning next season for the Sooners.
WR, Ohio State (So.)
(North Little Rock)
Quickly now, can you name the leading receiver for an Ohio State program that recruits nationally and sends more players to the NFL than just about anyone?
Why, it’s K.J. Hill, who turned short receptions into long gains in the victory over Michigan on Saturday. Sports fans in Arkansas are quite familiar with Hill, who teamed with KeVaughn Allen (Florida) to lead North Little Rock to a state championship in basketball.
Watching former high school stars like Norwood, Hill, and Allen leave the state to play for other programs is particularly troublesome for Razorbacks fans.
DB, San Diego State (Jr.)
Neither Arkansas or Arkansas State wanted Baldwin, who migrated to California. The move has turned out well for Baldwin, a junior who won the starting job at safety as a sophomore for San Diego State. Baldwin is a hard-hitting safety who has started every game and is second on the team with 59 tackles.
DB, Minnesota (Fr.)
(Fort Smith Northside)
Thomas started eight games as a freshman for Minnesota, which needed a victory over Wisconsin Saturday to become bowl eligible.
Still, the future is promising at Minnesota, which signed first-year coach P. J. Fleck to a contract extension through 2023.
K, Navy (Jr.)
Moehring missed consecutive games with an injury, but he’s still 34 of 35 on extra points and 6 of 11 on field goals, with a long of 48 yards.
Moehring will appear on the big stage Saturday on CBS when Navy plays Army in one of the biggest rivalries in college football.
Rick Fires can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@NWARick.
Print Headline: Arkansans set to take stage when Bowl season kicks off