Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/28/13
As the 2013-2014 Arkansas Razorback football season approaches, new head coach Bret Bielema will be looking for impact players on both sides of the ball. With only the Alex Collins defensive line having proven playmakers, there will have to be some players to step up and fill in some key positions. Here are three newcomers to the Razorback program that could have a great impact and contribute to the team. Alex Collins RB (South Plantation HS, FL) – By far the most highly touted signee for the Razorbacks for the 2013 recruiting class, freshman Alex Collins seems to have all of the tools to make a huge impact this season.  The incredibly athletic Collins will start off behind sophomore running back Jonathan Williams, but will get plenty of playing time right out of the gate. Rated as the number one running back in the country by 247Sports.com, Collins in just what Bret Bielema is looking for in a back to carry his offense.  His quick, effective cuts and strong bursts of speed will have to be flawless as he goes against the best defenses in the country of the SEC. Look for Alex to be a spark plug for the hogs this year and maybe even take over the starting job. Martrell Spaight LB (Coffeyville Community College, KS)- If there is one guy who going to add physical play to the Arkansas defense it’s JUCO transfer Martrell Spaight. The junior was a two-time All-American at Coffeyville Community College before transferring to the hogs. He will bring much needed help to the linebacker core and the struggling Razorback defense which gave up 410 yards per game last season. Spaight is already becoming a star in practice by supposedly giving three players concussions from his helmet-crushing hits. This type of physicality should translate very nicely to Chris Ash’s defensive philosophy this season. Look for Martrell to come in and contribute right away this and add toughness to the defense that has been recently weak. Hunter Henry TE (Pulaski Academy HS, AR)-  Hunter Henry is a prototypical pass catching tight end. Henry comes in with a tremendous amount of accolades from his high school career.  He caught 107 passes for 1,449 yards and 15 touchdowns for Pulaski Academy, to earn Parade All-American honors. His 6-foot-6 frame will make him an easy target for quarterback Brandon Allen and a great weapon for the offense.  With the top three leading receivers from last year’s team, and the season-long injury to senior tight end Austin Tate, Henry could see a substantial amount of playing time this season. Others: Dan Skipper LT (6-10, 317, Fr.) Brooks Ellis LB (6-2, 230, Fr.) Tiquention Coleman SS (5-10, 195, Jr.) The Razorbacks will have to see a drastic number of seemingly unknown players to play important roles this upcoming football season to be competitive in the SEC as they attempt to wash away the bad taste that every Arkansas fan has from last year’s disappointing season. If anyone is capable of getting these players prepared for battle, it is this incredible coaching staff that Jeff Long and Bret Bielema have established. All of the players and coaches get a chance to show off their hard work from this offseason on August 31st as they take on Louisiana-Lafayette in Fayetteville.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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