Monday, March 4, 2013
Offseason spotlight: Arkansas
By Chris Low
We turn our attention today to the Arkansas Razorbacks in our offseason spotlight series.
Spotlight: Running back Jonathan Williams, 6-foot, 205 pounds, rising sophomore.
2012 summary: Williams was third on the team in rushing with 231 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He started against Kentucky and had touchdown catches of 77 and 74-yards. He finished the season with eight catches.
The skinny: The Hogs lost three running backs, including their top two rushers in Dennis Johnson and Knile Davis. It's no secret that first-year coach Bret Bielema likes to run the ball. He had seven 1,000-yard rushers in his seven seasons at Wisconsin. Williams has speed, and he's also polished as a receiver out of the backfield. This spring will be his chance to show he can handle the load of being the feature back in the Hogs' new-look offense. Prized freshman signee Alex Collins doesn't arrive on campus until this summer. It's going to be a fresh start for everybody, and while Bielema's track record suggests he wants to run the ball, he hired Jim Chaney as his offensive coordinator. Chaney's offenses at Tennessee put up big passing numbers, and he was also known for his passing attack at Purdue when Drew Brees was his quarterback. Finding that right mix will be key, and Williams is a leading candidate to be one of the centerpieces of an Arkansas offense that will be looking for playmakers. Only four starters return from a year ago.