Jason Ivester, Hawgs Illustrated

Loewen Has Positioned Himself To Play

Arkansas defensive lineman Mitchell Loewen (6-5, 275), a newly married man, has been a man of many positions on the football field for the Razorbacks in his career

If he was playing baseball then Arkansas senior and Hawaii native Mitchell Loewen would already have played every position on the diamond.

But Loewen (6-5, 275), a former walk-on who is now a defensive tackle and goal line tight end for the Razorbacks, still has 13 to go to play every position on the football field.

"This is my ninth,” Loewen said.  "I have been an outside linebacker, inside linebacker, D-end, then they moved me to offensive tackle then guard and center, then they moved me to D-tackle, then fullback then tight end then now I am back to defensive end and D-tackle. They have me working both."

Needless to say, Loewen has got the Razorback playbook down pretty pat but admits its been tough playing all the positions and not staying put.

“It has given me a good perspective on the game," he said, "playing all the positions and it has shown me how much you need everyone on the team doing the right thing at the right time to be successful.

“…Getting used to one spot really because I have been moved around so much I haven't really been given time to have my full potential at one position. But this season being in the spot that I am, the sky is the limit for our team.”

Indeed Loewen is set for significant snaps on the defensive line this season, which begins in less than two weeks when Arkansas hosts UTEP in the season opener on Sept. 5.

“I'm excited,” Loewen said. “I'm just real excited about the opportunities I've been given by this coaching staff and this team. I want to make the most of it and see where we can go."

He had 14 tackles while playing in nine games with two tackles for lost yardage, a half sack, two quarterback hurries and two pass break ups.

It seems a long way for him from a previous off-season where he was coming back from a knee injury.

“I feel great,” Loewen said. “I feel amazing and thank God for this opportunity to be here right now. I mean, a year from like last week I was contemplating if I could ever play football again coming off my ACL surgery. 

“Just talking to my dad. He called me and told me about that. I'd forgotten about that. Going through the whole season last year, that's just grace of God right there.”

Loewen, who has two touchdown catches in his career, is part of a two-deep solid contingent across the board for Arkansas defensive line coach Rory Segrest.

“I mean he said this is the deepest he's ever been in the two deep,” Loewen said. “He feels like we could just sub guys in and not see a drop-off in performance. That's a great thing because no matter who I'm practicing in there, first team or second team, there's great guys surrounding us all the time.”

Gone this season are Loewen’s long blond locks as he got married over the summer - two things that worked hand in hand.

“I cut it all off,” Loewen said. “I got married. Had to cut it off for the wedding pictures. I didn't want to look like a hippie.”

He and his wife actually honeymooned in Maui, where he was a high school star for Lahainaluna High School and had 140 tackles his senior season.

“It was awesome,” Loewen said.

Maui is certainly better for a marriage than preseason football camp.

“After football practice I go home to my wife and she works a 9-to-5 job so she’s tired when I get home and ready to go to bed,” Loewen said. “This camp has been pretty hard on both of us because we haven’t gotten to spend much time together.

“The time we do get we really try to make worth it.”

Mitchell Loewen

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