We all want to know, “How are the Arkansas Razorbacks going to do in 2011?” Since there are usually a few requests for “Cliff’s Notes” and “SparkNotes” to my posts, I’ll endeavor to have a series of posts over the next week or so. All of the returning production charts for offense, defense, and special teams are completed.
Any good analysis starts with knowing the Arkansas Razorbacks. No official, current, published roster existed so we made one with a little information about each of the returning and incoming players. 2011 Current Arkansas Razorback Football Roster It’s not a depth chart although it is contains position, name, jersey number, etc. [Sorting is not available for the moment and may return shortly.]
Returning experience is a “between the ears” stat. It is familiarity with the game, the crowds, the places, the drill of game day, the drill of practice, and the tendencies of opposing players and schemes. More importantly it is familiarity with the Razorbacks’ own plays, schemes, and being able to apply them when it counts. As opposed to reaction, experience brings anticipation which ultimately translates into better position on the field and gives coaches the opportunity to place players where they have greater advantages on the field.
For the 2011 returning players, their experience is listed from last season. Due to the size of the table, experience over the last three years is broken into offensive and defensive groups for a latter post. The list does not distinguish between someone who wasn’t on the roster vs. someone who didn’t play. All it considers is game experience. In the event the organization is not evident to you, the players are organized by position, followed by highest number of games played in 2010 by position, and lastly by number of total games played in the event that two players at the same position played the same number of games in 2010.
Returning Game Experience from 2010.csv
Sources: NCAA.org and ArkansasRazorbacks.com
[EDIT: Anthony Oden has been removed as of 7-19-2011 from the table above.]
[Edit: Now THAT IS PRETTY!! Nice work Jacob!! ]
If you look at Total Games on the far right, you’ll find that the Hogs return 12 players who have 30 games or more of experience in a Razorback uniform under Coach Petrino. Add another 15 for those with 20 or more games of experience, and add another 12 for those with at least 12 games over the last 3 years. In terms of more recent experience the Razorbacks return 21 players who played in all 13 games last year, and 14 more who played in at least 10 games in 2010. But utilizing the organization of the information to our advantage, we can see that 5 more players, Greg Childs (WR), Zach Stadther (DT), Brett Harris (LB), Dennis Johnson (RB), and Seth Armbrust (S) had limited games in 2010 but played in all 13 games in 2009. Go back a little further with this group, and you’ll see that all but Armbrust played 12 games in 2008.
By position here are the Razorbacks returning, most-experienced players:
Quarterback — Tyler Wilson returns having logged time in 13 games with 6 of them being last year and 5 the year before. Brandon Mitchell played in parts of 4 games last year. Beyond that neither Jacoby Walker who was injured last year or Brian Beuhner who made a respectable showing at the 2011 Red-White game have logged any playing experience. Although it’s not likely an official stat anywhere, Tyler Wilson almost certainly holds the single game record for passing yardage in a single game coming off the bench. Tyler Wilson’s Performance of the Ages
Running Back — Davis, Wingo, and Johnson have a combined 79 games experience among them over the last three years.
Fullback — Morgan Linton and Brandon Pyle each logged one game last year.
Center — Travis Swanson returns having played in all 13 games in 2010. His listed backup is redshirt sophomore Ray Gervasi who, as a redshirt, hasn’t seen playing time yet.
Guard — Alvin Bailey and Grant Cook return having played in 13 and 9 games each respectively last year. Cook is the more senior of the two with 29 games under his belt. No other player at offensive guard has game experience.
Tackle — Grant Freeman and Anthony Oden return with some experience at tackle. While Oden was out most of 2010, he played in 7 games as a true freshman getting his initial start in 2009 in Tuscaloosa. Freeman played in 11 games during last season and 18 in his career. Whether as guard or tackle, Tyler Deacon is the only other offensive lineman with any game time. He appeared in four games in 2010.
Tight End — Chris Gragg and Austin Tate return with 13 and 12 games played respectively last season. Add Gragg’s 12 games from 2009, and the tight end position fares better than the other line positions.
Wide Receiver — The Hogs have ridiculous returning experience here. Six wide receivers played in at least 11 games in 2010, and the other one with experience who didn’t see 11 games of action last year is Greg Childs who has donned the Arkansas uniform 33 times over the last 3 seasons.
Defensive Tackle — The position is probably better described as defensive line instead of exclusively Defensive Tackle. A hammer by any other name still strikes as hard. Lavunce Askew, Alfred Davis, D.D. Jones and Bryan Jones all return from 2010 with at least 10 games played last year alone. Look at the chart one more year backward, and we can add Zach Stadther to the list as he, Askew, A. Davis, and D.D. Jones had their numbers called in at least 10 games in 2009 each. Five players have substantial experience on the defensive line.
Defensive End — Of all the positions for the Razorbacks in 2011, this is the only position where all players down the chart return with having played in at least 4 games last year. At the top Jake Bequette, Colton Miles-Nash, and Tenarius Wright each roamed the defensive end position in every game in 2010. Together Will Coleman and Chris Smith add another 13 games of some experience. Bequette shares with Jerry Franklin and Jarius Wright the distinction of being the most game-experienced Razorbacks having played in 38 games a piece over their years with Coach Petrino at Arkansas. Tenarius Wright is on pace to be in the same position for 2012 as he has played in all Arkansas games for the last two years.
Linebacker — The days of complaining about or using a lack of depth and experience are over for the linebacker position. Jerry Franklin, Terrell Williams, Ross Rasner, and Matt Marshall all backed the defensive line for at least 11 games in 2010. Franklin, Rasner, Williams, and Bret Harris have the same experience in 2009, and Franklin and Harris played in 12 games each in 2008. As a backup, Jarrett Lake has 7 games under his belt from 2010.
Cornerback — Isaac Madison, Darius Winston, De’Anthony Curtis,and Greg Gatson covered receivers in at least 11 games each last year. Gatson saw significant playing time in 2009 as did Curtis, but more likely at running back in 2009 for De’Anthony. Madison brings the most senior experience to the group with 12 games from 2008 to his credit. Jerry Mitchell saw a good amount of playing time in 7 games in 2010 which makes him the fifth man in the rotation for 2011.
Safety — The Spring Roster showed Jerico Nelson as “S/LB” which is the positional equivalent as a “definite ‘maybe’.” He is one of the most game-experienced players of any group with 36 games in a Hog uniform while Tramain Thomas, Eric Bennett, and Elton Ford head-hunted in a minimum of 12 games each last year. Going back a little further, Seth Armbrust played in all 13 games in 2009 while Elton Ford and Tramain Thomas add at least 19 more games of experience each.
Kicker — Of course Zach Hocker returns having proven himself well in 2010 along with Cameron Bryan who had 8 games of experience in 2009. A little analysis of Hocker’s performance in 2010 reveals that his kicking alone was a predictor of a 9-10 win season. Zach’s 16 field goals is a little short of the typical 19 field goals for SEC teams who win 10 games or more but his 84% accuracy is the mark required for all final season records between 10 and 14 games won. Read the rest of Kicking Around with SEC Close Game Leader to find out why Hocker and the Razorbacks should place a premium on accuracy as opposed to numbers of field goals he hits.
Punter — Dylan Breeding returns for a third season as the Razorback punter with 24 games under his belt. His lack of play in two games only meant that the Hogs didn’t need to punt. Sorry Dylan, but we hope you get a “Maytag Man” uniform for 2011.
Deep Snapper — Nick Brewer returns with 9 games of experience from 2010 in probably the most thankless job on the team. For every snap that’s on the mark, it’s a ho hum event, and no one still knows your name. But when the ball bounces or sails to the punter or holder, it’s only bad.
As a noteworthy observation, Jatashun “Big Tex” Beachum is not listed among the running backs but is listed at 280 lbs. and as a defensive tackle on the spring depth chart. [I cannot restrain the words “Refrigerator Perry” from being tapped on the keyboard in front of me.]