Arkansas Team News

Arkansas’ offensive and defensive X-factors in 2016

Devwah Whaley Under Armuor All-America Game after 2015 season
REINHOLD MATAY/USA TODAY SPORTS

The definition of an “X-factor,” says Merriam-Webster (you know, the dictionary people), is “a circumstance, quality or person that has a strong but unpredictable influence.” When it comes to football, then, think of an “X-factor” as a player who could make – or break – an offense or a defense.

Here are Arkansas’ X-factors this season.

Offense

RB Devwah Whaley: Before Whaley even stepped on campus, there was a feeling he could be a special player. After his performance in fall camp, Whaley – who was considered one of the top three running backs in the 2016 recruiting class – appears to be the real deal. Whaley (6 feet 0, 210 pounds) doesn't shy away from contact and has the top-end speed Arkansas fans have been longing to see. He and sophomore Rawleigh Williams III figure to be the top two rushing options. Whaley has the ability and skill set to make the SEC's all-freshman team. Ultimately, his chance to be honored depends on the offensive line playing up to its capabilities.

Defense

DT Austin Capps: It would be easy to pick fellow freshman McTelvin Agim here, but we already know Agim is going to be in the two-deep at rush end as well as a tackle in some in sub-packages. Capps' impact is more of a mystery. One thing is for sure: Capps (6-4, 310) is as strong as a bull. That’s putting it lightly. "He popped in that squat rack during the summer," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said after the second scrimmage. "He did 600 pounds like it was nothing on his back. That's just not normal. I think his power and strength in the middle are going to be an asset." Capps should play in some sub-packages, as well, and likely will be in the two-deep on the interior line.

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(You can follow Chad Neipling on Twitter @SEC_Chad)

© 2016, Chad Neipling. All rights reserved.

© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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