Dudley E. Dawson is a reporter for Hawgs Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Hogs’ trio of new offensive linemen sticking together
Nashville offensive lineman Kirby Adcock waits as he is announced MVP of the class 4A state championship game on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Arkansas may have signed only three offensive linemen, but they all are big, smart and already on campus.
Nashville’s Kirby Adcock (6-5, 300), Richmond, Ill., Richmond Burton’s Dalton Wagner (6-9, 315) and Festus, Mo., Jefferson’s Shane Clenin (6-6, 295) all signed with the Razorbacks in December.
All three — who had 4.0, 3.8 and 3.7 grade point averages — arrived on campus on January 13, but had already bonded throughout the recruiting process.
“I love those guys and we really became good friends during the recruiting process and hung around together at the games,” Wagner said. “I think we all have the same drive and goals.”
Adcock, who could play all five spots on the line, according to Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema, agrees that the trio is similar even if they all look very different.
“We all trust each other, I would say that we are all really smart, too, and they want to be successful in life and I am want to be successful so it is really nice,” Adcock said, “because if you surround yourself with successful people, you will be successful.”
Clenin, who will start out at tackle but could end up at center per Bielema, knows that the three are not likely to bust in and start right away, but all will be trying to grab some playing time.
“I think we will bring some depth to the line,” Clenin said. “I think just from working out together, we all have great work ethics and we all work really hard on and off the field. We hang out together and already have that bond.
“…Sometimes I think it gets lost in the big picture, but I think that is what we are going to help solidify.”
Wagner, set to start out at tackle according to Bielema, says that the older offensive linemen have been helpful, but he knows that the incoming trio will need to stick together.
“I think we can push each other,” Wagner said. “Not only are we the youngest guys coming in and we all play the same spot on the field, we are all roommates and we are all constantly looking for each other.”
Wagner noted that one of the reasons that all three ended up at Arkansas is because of the importance that the coaching staff puts on offensive linemen.
“The way they represent the offensive linemen compared to other schools is so different,” Wagner said. “What they say is always true and seeing what they have produced here made it an easy decision for me.”
While Clenin has grown a beard since his arrival, he and Adcock are refusing to join Wagner in fashioning a mullet.
“That’s not going to happen,” Clenin said. “He would love for it to happen, but that’s just his thing. It is something.”
Dudley Dawson can be reached at email@example.com.
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