FAYETTEVILLE — When Sam Pittman was hired to be the head coach at the University of Arkansas he said the Razorbacks had to get bigger on the offensive line.
While questions remain about the season due to COVID-19, there’s none when it comes to the desire to make the linemen bigger. Pittman, Jamil Walker and the Hogs have accomplished that.
“Well, we’re big right now,” Pittman said on June 30 during a Zoom call. “You won’t believe it, but we’ve got a pretty good-sized line. I mean, they came back. I can say this, their mamas must be pretty good at cooking, because when they left and then came back. And it was quality weight. But right now I’m very pleased with the size of our offensive line. Obviously, you know I like big, and we’re certainly going to continue to try to get bigger. The kids that we have certainly have done that. Coach Walker’s put an emphasis on that. Maybe not quite tuning the bigs as much as we normally would at this point. To me, bigger’s better as long as we can move, and that’s what we’re trying to get done right now. But I’ve been really pleased with the size and the way the guys came back.
Pittman used senior Myron Cunningham as an example. He was listed at 6-6, 290, in the 2019 media guide.
“Well, well Myron Cunningham was about 285-287, and he’s about 319 now, so,” Pittman said. “He needed it. It’s hard to set the bull when you don’t have enough butt to set it with. So, he needed it. I had a nice conversation with him, and I’m thinking he’s going to have a nice season. But he worked hard at gaining that weight and staying in shape.”
The new roster lists Cunningham at 6-7, 325. But the gain in weight was limited to just Cunningham. Ricky Stromberg worked his way into a starting role as a true freshman in 2019. He was listed at 6-4, 266, last season. He is now 6-4, 311.
Here’s some other notable changes.
Ty Clary, 2019: 6-4, 285. 2020: 6-4, 298.
Noah Gatlin, 2019: 6-7, 302; 6-7, 307.
Dalton Wagner, 2019: 6-9, 308. 2020: 6-9, 319.
Ryan Winkel, 2019: 6-6. 285. 2020: 6-6, 307.
Shane Clenin, 2019: 6-6, 302. 2020: 6-6, 316.
Jalen St. John, 2020: 6-5, 359.
Marcus Henderson, 2020: 6-5, 284.
Ray Curry Jr., 2020: 6-5, 320.
The size has changed for defensive linemen too.
Zach Williams, 2019: 6-4, 224. 2020: 6-4, 246.
Dorian Gerald, 2019: 6-3, 261; 2020: 6-3, 288.
Julius Coates, 2020: 6-6, 289.
Click here for the new Arkansas roster for 2020 preseason.