USA TODAY Sports/Nelson Chenault

Kirk's Korner: What's next for Arkansas Razorbacks at running back?

Losing Rawleigh Williams III is a blow for the Razorbacks, but now the question is who will replace him.

Junior running back Rawleigh Williams III made the only decision he could under the circumstances. He announced the decision on the ArkansasRazorbacks.com website.

Williams was the leading rusher in the SEC in the regular season in 2016 as a sophomore. He finished with 245 carries for 1,360 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 15 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown while also going 1-1 passing for one yard and a touchdown. Williams was the definition of "Uncommon". On the field, he was a very talented running back. Off the field, he was one of the nicest players to ever don the uniform at Arkansas. He was a true student-athlete that Bret Bielema seeks in recruiting.

With Williams now gone, the Hogs will likely turn to sophomore Devwah Whaley as the starter. Last season as a true freshman, Whaley rushed 110 times for 602 yards and three touchdowns. Whaley, like Williams, comes from the Lone Star State and came to the Hogs with very glowing credentials.

Whaley was rated the No. 3 running back in the nation by 247Sports. As a senior, Whaley rushed for 1,701 yards and 23 touchdowns while also playing in the Under Armour All-American game. In that game, he announced for the Razorbacks in the pregame then went out and rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries.

In the spring, Arkansas worked sophomore T.J. Hammonds at wide receiver until the final week when he went back to running back. Hammonds played running back as a true freshman. He rushed 15 times for 88 yards and a touchdown with a long run of 30. Hammonds returned one kickoff for 16 yards. The loss of Williams could prompt the staff to move Hammonds back to tailback.

Hammonds was a 4-star recruit coming out of Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, Ark. As a senior, Hammonds caught 27 passes for 662 yards and six touchdowns while rushing 100 times for 1,404 yards and 22 more touchdowns. Hammonds could even see action at both running back and wide receiver.

The Hogs also signed some recruits who played running back in high school, but were targeted for other positions. If needed one or more of them could work at running back.


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