Arkansas defensive lineman McTelvin “Sosa” Agim took an atypical approach to SEC Media Days. The Razorbacks star brought a Chucky doll with him to each interview. It’s not just a funny gimmick.
Sosa’s doll is for his cousin, John Neal. Last year at only 19-years old, he was murdered in Texas. Yesterday was his birthday. Sosa wrote his cousin’s name on the bottom of Chucky’s foot. The tragic murder remains unsolved.
“When they killed him, they took a little part of me away. Now I’m able to have something that’s with me and able to see everything he was not able to see. A part of doing this is you wanna do it for your family. You wanna make it to the next level for your family, but when your family gets killed, it’s hard to do that.”
The Best Thing Chad Morris Said — Tempering expectations, Morris pointed out other coaches who successfully turned around programs, even though it may have taken too long for some impatient fans.
“When you take a head football coaching job, you know that establishing and enhancing a culture is your top priority, and it takes time, and it takes consistency, and there’s a certain process to follow to develop the results that you’re looking for. You can look at examples for guys that I worked for. Coach Swinney, guys in this league, Dan Mullen and Mark Stoops. It didn’t happen overnight.”
The Best Thing Chad Morris Said (Out of Context) — “Our vision is ‘Every,’ the word ‘Every.’ Every matters.”
Coach Speak 101 — How does one spin a 2-10 first season? Describe it as a learning lesson.
“We learned a lot last year. And most important, we learned that one play has no bearing on the next. And one season has no bearing on the next. Every play and every season has a life and a history of its own.
“And the true measure of someone, a staff, a group of young men that chose to come back, when things go bad, a true measure is what their character is and how they respond. And it was hard. Last season was hard. And there’s no doubt, but we learned a lot as a staff. We learned a lot as players, and we responded.”
Biggest Question Mark — Arkansas is in the middle of a QB competition between a pair of grad transfers. Ben Hicks previously played for Morris at SMU, giving him a slight leg up on Nick Starkel, Texas A&M’s starting quarterback until injuries paved the way for Kellen Mond to take over Jimbo Fisher’s offense. Each player should be better than last year’s quarterbacks, but who will take the lead remains a mystery.
Same Face, New Place — Remember Rakeem Boyd? One of the stars of season three of Last Chance U, the talented running back with rocks for biceps played for Independence CC after one year at Texas A&M. Arkansas’ leading rusher in 2018 still has two seasons of eligibility.
Good News for UK — Simply put, Arkansas is bad. Last year they were 2-10, winless in SEC play. They are still picking up the pieces in year two of Morris’ massive rebuild.
Bad News for UK — The Razorbacks will have a bye week before they travel to Lexington. In an ideal world for Razorback fans, they could upset Ole Miss and enter Kroger Field 4-1. After that, their only winnable game is against WKU. UK could ultimately determine if they’re bowl eligible.
Fear Factor — 2.2
Even though it’s a high stakes game for the Razorbacks, Kentucky should be able to control Arkansas in the trenches. Replacing three starters on the offensive line, UK’s defense should be able to suffocate Morris’ new quarterback from start to finish.