football Edit

HawgBeat Decade in Review: Arkansas' top football recruits of the 2010s

Before coming to Arkansas, McTelvin Agim was a 6.0 four-star recruit.
Before coming to Arkansas, McTelvin Agim was a 6.0 four-star recruit. (Nick Lucero /

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December is more than halfway over, which means another year has nearly come and gone. With the end of this year also comes the end of a decade: the 2010s.

It was a decade that began with promise for the Razorbacks - Bobby Petrino taking the football team to new heights, Mike Anderson returning to Arkansas and Dave Van Horn coming off his second trip to the College World Series - and had plenty of low points along the way before now trending back up, with new football and basketball coaches and the baseball team rolling at a historic rate.

Before we say goodbye to the 2010s and enter the 2020s, HawgBeat is taking a look back at the past 10 years with a series of lists that will remember the best players, games, coaches and moments that defined the decade.

With the early signing period for the Class of 2020 - the players who will help usher in a new era of Arkansas football - beginning Wednesday, we thought it’d be appropriate to start our series with recruiting.

Here are the top 10 offensive and defensive players the Razorbacks signed in the 2010-19 classes, according to their rankings on Rivals…


1. TE C.J. O’Grady — No. 90 (Class of 2015)

The Razorbacks have experienced a fantastic run of tight ends that actually started near the end of last decade. None were rated higher than O’Grady, though, who went to high school just down the road from the UA at Fayetteville High. He turned down offers from places like Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon and Texas to play for Arkansas, where his late father - Larry Marks - played basketball under Nolan Richardson. Despite clashing with both head coaches during his tenure and being suspended multiple times, O’Grady still managed to break the school record for touchdown receptions by a tight end.

Stats: 87 receptions, 967 yards, 12 touchdowns

2. OL Brian Wallace — No. 96 (Class of 2014)

One of current head coach Sam Pittman’s biggest commitments during his time as offensive line coach, Wallace is the highest rated offensive lineman to sign with the Razorbacks in the Rivals era. Schools like Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State were after the St. Louis product, but he chose Arkansas. Wallace redshirted his first season and didn’t see the field much as a redshirt freshman before starting 29 games at right tackle over his final three seasons in Fayetteville. Under previous head coach Bret Bielema, he never began the season as a starter, but took over after a few games. When Chad Morris took over in 2018, he was the starter from the jump.

Stats: 38 games, 29 starts

3. TE Hunter Henry — No. 102 (Class of 2013)

A second-generation Razorback, Henry was a critical piece of Bielema’s first class at Arkansas. He joined the Razorbacks after a highly successful high school career at Pulaski Academy and continued to have success in college, eventually winning the 2015 Mackey Award as the top tight end in college football. That same season, Henry was a consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC selection. In his first two seasons with the Razorbacks, he was named a Freshman All-American and to the All-SEC second team, respectively.

Stats: 116 receptions, 1,661 yards, 9 touchdowns

4. RB Alex Collins — No. 117 (Class of 2013)

One of the crazier National Signing Day stories in recent history involves Collins’ mother stealing and running off with his national letter of intent before he could officially sign with the Razorbacks. Luckily for Arkansas, he tracked down his father and was able to fax in the NLI.

Once in Fayetteville and away from that drama, Collins became one of the best Razorbacks of all-time. He was the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2013 and a second-team All-SEC selection in 2015, when he ran for 1,577 yards - the most in a single season by someone not named Darren McFadden - and 20 touchdowns, breaking a 46-year-old single-season record. Only McFadden has more career rushing yards than Collins in UA history, plus he joined McFadden and Herschel Walker as the only SEC players to rush for 1,000 yards in their first three seasons.

Stats: 665 carries, 3,703 yards, 36 TD, 27 receptions, 167 yards

5. OL Brey Cook — No. 124 (Class of 2011)

Part of a loaded class of prospects in Northwest Arkansas, Cook decided to play for the Razorbacks after a standout career at Springdale Har-Ber just a few miles north on Interstate 49. He earned a spot on the field goal unit as a true freshman before starting half of the 2012 season. The next two years, Cook was a full-time starter, missing just one game. His primary position was right tackle, but he also made starts at left tackle and left guard.

Stats: 48 games, 30 starts

6. WR Trey Knox — No. 128 (Class of 2019)

Morris and former offensive coordinator Joe Craddock joked that when Knox left Arkansas’ campus following his official visit, they told each other they’d never see him again. It was easy to see why, as the 6-foot-5 wide receiver also being recruited by Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and other major programs. However, he surprised everyone by committing to the Razorbacks. It didn’t take long for him to make an impression as an early enrollee. A physically imposing athlete, Knox quickly earned a starting job and ended up with the fifth-most receptions by a true freshman in UA history.

Stats: 28 receptions, 385 yards, 3 touchdowns

7. WR Treylon Burks — No. 146 (Class of 2019)

Wide receivers coach Justin Stepp brought in a massive haul of wide receivers in the final class of the decade. In addition to Knox, he helped convince Burks to stay home and become the latest Warren product to play for the Razorbacks. After being an all-around playmaker for the Lumberjacks in high school, he did a little bit of everything in his first season at Arkansas.

Much like his classmate listed above, Burks became a starter and ended up catching 29 passes for 475 yards, which rank fourth and third, respectively, among true freshmen in UA history. Even though he never found the end zone, he was also a threat as a punt and kickoff returner. The coaches utilized him as a wildcat quarterback, as well. Burks averaged 14.4 yards every time he touched the ball, a mark that ranks 35th nationally, fourth in the SEC and leads all FBS freshmen entering bowl season.

Stats: 29 receptions, 475 yards, 9 carries, 35 yards, 12 punt returns, 130 yards, 10 kickoff returns, 226 yards, 0 of 1 passing

8. OL Reeve Koehler — No. 156 (Class of 2013)

Most fans probably remember the player who checks in a few spots below at No. 10 or Dan Skipper when they think of Bielema and Pittman’s first class of offensive linemen at Arkansas, but Koehler was actually ranked higher than both of them. Hailing from the famed St. Louis School in Honolulu - the school that later produced Marcus Mariota and Tua Tagovailoa - he was the No. 8 overall offensive guard in the class and had offers from the likes of Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee and several Pac-12 schools. However, he appeared in just one game - one snap vs. Missouri in the 2015 regular-season finale - as a redshirt sophomore and left the program shortly after.

Stats: 1 game, 0 starts

9. QB Ty Storey — No. 165 (Class of 2015)

One of the most incredible stories of the decade had to do with Storey’s journey through college football. It all started after he became one of the most prolific passers in state history and won back-to-back state titles at Charleston, when he picked the Razorbacks over offers from Nick Saban (Alabama), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and Petrino (Louisville). Storey sat behind the Allen brothers - Brandon and Austin - for the first three years of his career and then battled Cole Kelley as a redshirt junior, eventually winning the job during the season. Unfortunately, that was Morris’ first year and the Razorbacks lost all nine of his starts during a 2-10 season. He took a lot of the blame and was run off when the coaching staff brought in a pair of graduate transfers.

That's where the story gets incredible, as he ended up at Western Kentucky. Despite not winning the job out of fall camp, Storey took over early in the season because of an injury and led the Hilltoppers to a bowl game - clinched by a victory over Arkansas inside Reynolds Razorback Stadium. That game proved to be the final straw for Morris, who was fired the following day.

Stats (Arkansas): 144 of 254 passing (56.7 percent), 1,587 yards, 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 70 carries, 124 yards, 1 touchdown

Stats (WKU): 206 of 294 passing (70.1 percent), 2,209 yards, 12 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 105 carries, 246 yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 receptions, 14 yards, 1 touchdown

10. OL Denver Kirkland — No. 166 (Class of 2013)

As mentioned above, Kirkland is probably better remembered from Bielema and Pittman’s inaugural class at Arkansas. He had been trending to Miami (Fla.), but the Hurricanes pulled his offer when he said he wanted to wait until after signing day to announce his decision. That’s when the Razorbacks swooped into Florida and landed him - on signing day, nonetheless. It ended up being a huge get for Arkansas because he took over the starting job at left guard five games into his freshman season, starting a stretch of 34 consecutive starts. Kirkland moved to left guard in 2014 and then left tackle in 2015, after which he declared early for the NFL Draft. Although he went undrafted, he signed with the Raiders and has actually started a few games.

Stats: 38 games, 34 starts



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