Assessing Arkansas' depth at RB without Spivey
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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has a pretty solid 1-2 punch with Rakeem Boyd and Trelon Smith, but its depth at running back behind them is pretty thin.
In fact, the Razorbacks have just one other healthy scholarship player at the position after redshirt freshman A’Montae Spivey announced Wednesday night that he was transferring.
It was a “mutual agreement” for Spivey to enter the transfer portal, head coach Sam Pittman said, but it leaves Arkansas with only freshman Dominique Johnson if something were to happen to Boyd and Smith during the second half of 2020.
“Obviously we wish we had more,” Pittman said. “So I don’t feel great about our depth there - or maybe at a lot of places on our football team - but that’s why you recruit and things of that nature. I think we’ll be fine though.”
Pittman added that Johnson was already the third-team running back before Spivey left the team, so it doesn’t change his spot on the depth chart. The fourth-team guy is now walk-on Donte Buckner, a true freshman out of White Hall who has yet to appear in a game.
However, if the Razorbacks get into a pinch, they could also stick star wide receiver Treylon Burks in the backfield. The sophomore already has 50 yards on eight carries coming in a variety of ways - direct snaps, sweeps and backward passes - and Pittman said he’s one of the best runners on the team.
“He can throw, he can catch, he can run,” Pittman said. “I imagine he’s a pretty good basketball player. He’s probably a good track or baseball (athlete) - about anything he wants to be good at.”
Coming into the season, Arkansas was hopeful it’d have another scholarship running back at its disposal in Josh Oglesby.
A first-team All-American sprinter for the Razorbacks’ nationally ranked track team, Oglesby joined the football team during the offseason and turned some heads in preseason camp with his speed and shiftiness.
Unfortunately, he suffered an injury at practice that needed surgery, ending his redshirt sophomore season before it started. Pittman said Oglesby should be back in time for track and/or spring ball early next year and that he still anticipates him playing football in 2021.
“I mean, y’all weren’t out here I don’t think…but the guy’s a good running back now,” Pittman said. “He’s on football scholarship, so I sure hope he is (planning on playing next year).”
With Spivey transferring and Boyd not expected to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility, the Razorbacks have recruited a pair of running backs from Oklahoma in their 2021 class: AJ Green out of Tulsa Union and Javion Hunt out of Carl Albert in Midwest City.
In addition to those two commitments, Arkansas has also landed Raheim Sanders, an athlete from Rockledge, Fla., who could play running back, wide receiver or linebacker in college.