Offensive line help is on its way for Arkansas.
In addition to JUCO transfer Paul Ramirez, the Razorbacks will add Urbandale (Iowa) four-star lineman Jake Heinrich to the mix when he arrives on campus May 29.
While head coach Bret Bielema and offensive line coach Kurt Anderson will be excited to get him on the field, they won’t be nearly as excited as Jake Heinrich, whose senior season was cut short with a wrist injury.
“(The doctors) signed off on it and everything is good as new,” Heinrich said of his wrist. “I feel like a million bucks and I can’t wait to be a Hog.”
Now only a little more than three weeks away from enrolling at Arkansas, Heinrich (6-4, 280) is ready to put the last several months behind him.
Since suffering the injury, he has gone from casts to braces to wraps and back again. He had surgery in November, which forced him to miss the wrestling and track (he threw shot put and discus) seasons.
“It was very limiting and very inconvenient for a while,” Heinrich said. “My entire right arm didn’t see the light of day for four or five months.
“The original diagnosis was a sprained ulna and people sprain their ankles, take a day off and they’re good as new. This was unfortunately different than that.”
The worst part of sitting out was not being able to work out in the weight room with his friends. He said that has left him “hungrier than ever” to get back to work with strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.
Arkansas will be sending him a few drills and practice routines soon to work on before getting to Fayetteville.
Being this close to fulfilling his dream of playing college football is “surreal,” but Heinrich said he couldn’t wait to jump into the competition for a spot on the offensive line, which was anything but set in stone at the end of spring practice.
“It’ll be a wonderful opportunity,” Heinrich said. “Of course, I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ll play or be in the rotation or get reps, but my goal has been, and always will be, to do everything I can do help Arkansas win as many games, as many championships as possible.
“Whatever role the team needs me to take in order for that to happen, I’m willing to do it.”