Arkansas Razorbacks: 5 Players to Watch

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Oct 5, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Alex Collins (3) runs past Florida Gators linebacker Michael Taylor (51) during the first half of the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Alex Collins, 5-foot-11, 216 pounds, Sophomore, Running Back

The Razorbacks have a three-headed monster at running back, but the best of the bunch is Alex Collins. The sophomore did not start a game for Arkansas last season, yet he led the team with 1,026 rushing yards on 190 carries on his way to SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

Collins is an elusive runner, though not a burner. He uses great vision and has a quick burst through the hole, which allows him to pick up big yardage even when opposing defenses are loading up the box against the run.

The Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native opened his collegiate career with three consecutive 100-yard games, and had hit triple digits four in his first five games at Arkansas. From there, though, Collins averaged just 61.3 yards per game across the last seven contests. He also failed to score in the team’s last five games.

Collins was close to the century mark against Auburn, however, and had 92 rushing yards on 18 carries.

One of the most dangerous things about Collins is that he does not have to carry the load by himself. Arkansas will also rely on junior Jonathan Williams, who had 900 yards on the ground last season as the starter, and fellow sophomore Korliss Marshall. Marshall was not used much in 2013, but averaged 8.6 yards per carry and provided a spark as a kick returner.

With the three sharing the workload against Auburn in week one, each should be fresh for the fourth quarter. If the game is close at that point, watch out. Collins has the ability to wear down defenses down the stretch and could be the difference in the game.