More Arkansas rookies will see immediate playing time as Hogs cotinue to rebuild


NWA Media File Photo
Rafe Peavey is one of several newcomers who should see the field next fall.

Will Arkansas coach Bret Bielema rebuild Arkansas into SEC Western Conference contender? It’s too early to tell. What is apparent, is it won’t happen for awhile.
Bielema and his staff inherited a bare cupboard and is having to utilize young players immediately to build a foundation.
Even before the bowl hopes were dashed completely last season, Bielema plugged young players into the lineup, and the trend increased as the season went on. More than 10 freshmen and redshirt freshmen saw regular action.
Expect more rookies to see the field again in 2014. It’s the first class that includes players solely recruited by Bielema, and he had plenty of time to find the best players to fit his system. Based on his willingness to throw freshmen into the fire last year, he will be quick to do it again as some of these prospects may be better than returning veterans.
Quarterback is one position that will almost certainly be manned by a true freshman. While four-star dual-threat quarterback Rafe Peavey could be an improvement over incumbent junior Brandon Allen, it won’t be easy for him, even as talented and athletic as he is. It’s not usually a positive to start a true freshman QB in the SEC. But If Arkansas is going to lose, it might as well do it with a player who can learn and build for the future and hopefully become one of college football’s elite signal callers.
With 4.5 speed Peavey gives Arkansas more versatility than Brandon Allen, or his redshirt freshman brother, Austin. There’s a reason Peavey enrolled at mid-semester, and many expect him to be the starter when Arkansas travels to Auburn for the season opener.
With only two junior college players in the class, Bielema is building by developing young players. Unfortunately, most 18- and 19-year-olds don’t thrive under the extreme conditions of the SEC.
Still, those are are the best options the Hogs have right now. Like last year, more than a few of the incoming recruits will see action. With another killer schedule waiting there isn’t much hope for a winning season, but Bielema has to hope the payoff will come in the third year and maybe crescendo the fourth.

One comment on “More Arkansas rookies will see immediate playing time as Hogs cotinue to rebuild
  1. Steve Andrews says:

    Great piece, Nate! Several good points for a bright future on the Hill.