1. Who will emerge as leader at QB?
The battle between Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell will be the most talked about topic all spring. Allen earned playing time when Tyler Wilson was injured last season, but struggled in his snaps. Mitchell — who served a four-game suspension late in the season — spent most of the year playing wide receiver. Both will get a chance to make an impression before two signees arrive in the summer.
2. How well will JUCO transfers adapt?
Four junior college transfers — linebacker Myke Tavarres, cornerback Carroll Washington, safety TQ Coleman and offensive lineman Jonathan McClure — are on campus and will participate in spring practice. The Razorbacks are counting on each newcomer to settle in this spring and compete for starting jobs in the fall. So it’s an important month for the newcomers under Arkansas’ new coaching staff.
3. What will the offense look like?
Arkansas is expected to unveil a new offense under new head coach Brett Bielema, stressing the run game much more than in 2012. A complete shift isn’t expected right away, however. Bielema and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney agree the Razorbacks must count on team strengths in putting together the offense. They’ll evaluate those things on the field throughout the spring as Arkansas works toward the 2013 season.
4. Are young LBs ready for next step?
Otha Peters and AJ Turner were pressed into starting jobs last season because of injuries and other issues at linebacker. The two survived. But how much improvement have they made in the offseason as they prepare for their sophomore seasons? Peters and Turner will get a chance to show it during spring drills and their growth will be important for Arkansas’ defense next season.
5. How much will the offensive line improve?
Center Travis Swanson and tackle David Hurd are the only starters back from an offensive line that struggled in 2012. Bielema and the Razorbacks are determined to build their program in the trenches and will get their first chance to get hands on with them in spring drills. Expect plenty of players to get opportunities this spring with Swanson likely the only player cemented in his starting spot for next season.
- Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau