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Way-Too-Early Picks Put Razorbacks in Top 25 for Next Year

Apparently outsiders looking at last year's progress, projecting It to continue

KJ Jefferson's emergence last year and Sam Pittman turning around Arkansas has shot expectations through the roof.

Even Pat Forde at SI.com has jumped on the bandwagon, putting the Razorbacks at No. 14 in his way-too-early rankings for 2022.

Bless his heart, but Pat probably doesn't have the time to look very deep at some huge question marks in front of the Hogs headed into a spring practice where they don't even know what they don't know.

Sam Pittman-LSU

Sam Pittman has Arkansas on a positive growth curve, but can he keep the trend going?

Yes, Pittman is one game above .500 in two seasons, which is a massive improvement over the previous few seasons at Arkansas.

The Hogs, as noted in the story, have a good set of running backs if Dominique Johnson can stay healthy. Rocket Sanders "could be a 1,000-yard rusher," Forde said in the story.

Answering the first question will help provide a possible response to the second one. It will likely be a revolving door at running back next year and Jefferson is going to have to do things with his legs.

Raheim Sanders-Outback Bowl

Rocket Sanders may be a 1,000-yard back, but he may not even be the starter next season for the Hogs.

Treylon Burks is off to the NFL and there isn't a wide receiver on the roster that has shown they can make any kind of consistent big plays when needed to keep opponents from stacking the box to stop the run.

While, yes, the defense got some positive news last week when Bumper Pool announced Friday he's coming back for a bonus season.

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Only he and safety Jalen Catalon have shown they can hit anybody and covering folks was hit-and-miss all season.

That was mainly due to a defensive front that hasn't been able to consistently pressure quarterbacks for a few years now and unless somebody emerges next year that may continue.

Jalen Catalon

Safety Jalen Catalon one of just two defense standouts returning in 2022. 

There is kicker Cam Little, though, and an Australian punter that will be a freshman and is supposed to be pretty good.

Plus, there is that nagging little thing where the Hogs have always struggled with success. Even Frank Broyles struggled with that in the 1960's (some of us are old enough to remember 1963 and 1967).

Maybe the Hogs can get to No. 14.

Figuring out how right now is a head-scratcher, though.


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