TULSA, OK. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas’ 6’4″, 318-pound center Ricky Stromberg is pretty hard to miss when he’s out on the field now, but there was a time in his life when he was the smallest of the bunch.

“When he was young, he was always tough. He just wasn’t very big, so I knew he was a tough kid. I just never knew he had the size to go to the next level,” Ricky’s dad Scott Stromberg said.

But go to the next level he did.

The senior Hog wanted to play at a Power 5, but he wasn’t highly recruited out of high school.

It was Arkansas that decided to take a chance on the offensive lineman from Union High School.

“It’s kind of funny cause when he was a freshman or sophomore, Sam Pittman was the offensive line coach at Arkansas and he had the biggest offensive line in the world. I told Ricky, Arkansas probably wouldn’t be good for you, but it ended up being good for him so it was awesome,” Scott said.

“In my opinion, God makes things happen for a reason, and people were put in the place they needed to be. And, he made a verbal commitment at one time to Tulsa but he wanted to play at a Power 5 and he knew it in his heart. So, one day,” Diane said.

Even before his senior season began, he has already made his mark on the program. Just last year, he started all 13 games at center and blocking for an offense that led all Power 5 schools in rushing.

He’s already been added to multiple preseason watch lists as well, but if you ask his parents, it’s not a shock he’s been a stud at the position.

“He’s been doing that same stance for forever. Picking up crumbs from the floor, picking up the football whatever it would be. I’ve seen that stance forever,” Diane said.

“When he was a kid he watched film, he watched highlights of this and that, I think he was just a consumer of football and loves football so it became not a part of him, but he just knows the game,” Scott said.

It was no surprise that Pittman was excited to see Stromberg come back for another year with the Hogs.

But why did he decide to come back? Well according to his mom, it comes down to one thing.

“He loves that offensive line, he loves those boys. He says they are tight. I would love to feed all of them, I don’t get the opportunity to he doesn’t bring them home all the time,” Diane said.

This year, just like any other, Stromberg has high goals for himself and the team, hoping they win the West.

It’s that confidence that has taken him this far and propelled him to new heights.

“Always believed in himself even when others didn’t, when it appeared others didn’t he still did he thought they were wrong,” Scott said.

Once again, Stromberg has set out to prove a lot of people wrong when it comes to what the Hogs can do this year.