Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Bielema happy with Tretola's progress
Arkansas offensive guard Sebastian Tretola goes through drills during practice on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Offensive guard Sebastian Tretola won't be in Arkansas' starting lineup for the Razorbacks' opener at Auburn, but coach Bret Bielema said it might be hard to keep him out for long.
Speaking to the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club on Wednesday, Bielema said the junior college transfer "might be the team's best interior player right now." Tretola is listed as the second team left guard behind fifth-year senior Luke Charpentier.
After showing up out of shape, Bielema said Tretola has 24 pounds since showing up to Arkansas' camp four weeks ago. Tretola is now 6-foot-4, 350 pounds.
"I only went into his home once and his mom is a hell of a cook, and he enjoyed it," Bielema said. "We have our meals catered and the first day he grabbed three over-sized fajitas. I told him to take one at a time and if you're still hungry go back for seconds.
"I told him that if he would lose 5 pounds each week he would be in good shape by our opener and I'll be darn if he didn't do it. It's important to him."
Tretola, a junior, transferred to Arkansas after spending last season at Iowa Western Community College. He redshirted his first season at Nevada and played in 10 games there in 2012.