Agim returning for 2019 season

By: Matt Jones
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2019
McTelvin Agim, Arkansas defensive lineman, pressures K.J. Carta-Samuels, Colorado State quarterback, in the 1st quarter Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
Photo by Ben Goff
McTelvin Agim, Arkansas defensive lineman, pressures K.J. Carta-Samuels, Colorado State quarterback, in the 1st quarter Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.

— Arkansas defensive lineman McTelvin Agim will return for his senior season.

Agim, a former five-star recruit from Hope High School, announced his intention Thursday in a post to his Twitter account.

"Coming in, I wanted to leave a legacy, build something great and be different," Agim wrote. "All of these things I can still build on.

"When getting recruited, I told the staff I was coming to college for three years. Things change and I am able to accept this. I know the end goal is the NFL and it's on the horizon, but it's not the time for me to make that leap.

"My job at this point is to help this team get to where it needs to be, show the next wave of Razorbacks the way (and) build on my credentials."

Playing at positions on the inside and outside of the defensive line in a new 4-3 scheme, Agim recorded 45 tackles and a team-high 10 tackles for loss as an every-game starter in 2018. He also had 4.5 sacks, a team-high 11 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Those numbers were higher than 2017 when he had 37 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, and two sacks as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

“The NFL is going to look at how many plays you make,” Agim said prior to the season when asked about his draft plans. “They’re going to look at your stats and your film. If you’re not making plays, why should they pay you?”

Agim's return adds needed experience on the defensive line, where Arkansas is losing senior starters Armon Watts and Randy Ramsey, and reserve Michael Taylor to graduation. The Razorbacks signed seven defensive linemen in December to address depth.

"It is a line-of-scrimmage league," Arkansas coach Chad Morris said. "I think that's an area we can have immediate improvements as far as just creating depth and competition."

Agim is the second of three Arkansas juniors to announce he is returning after submitting paperwork to the NFL draft advisory committee. Leading tackler and linebacker De'Jon Harris announced his intention to return last month, but cornerback Ryan Pulley has yet to publicly declare his plans. Juniors have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.

Morris said on Dec. 19 that he did not anticipate any players would declare early for the draft.

"I think they’re in a position to come back," Morris said. "They can improve their draft status going into their senior year. We’ll see.”

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