2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 90 Arkansas State Red Wolves
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Arkansas State Red Wolves
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Arkansas State Red Wolves Prespring Status
After going on a roll over the second half of the season, and ripping apart a lifeless UCF team in the bowl win, this should be one of the most dangerous teams in the Sun Belt if the defense can somehow get the production to carry over to this year. Dominant during the 8-1 run after the 0-4 start, the ASU defense needs to overcome several major losses, while the offense is undergoing enough of a rebuild to make this a bit of a stepback season. The program has dealt with major changes before and came back fine, but this time around might be far tougher because …
Arkansas State Red Wolves Biggest Issue
Is anyone left on the nation’s 29th-best defense? Yeah, pass rusher extraordinaire Ja’Von Rolland-Jones is back, but that’s it for the starting defensive front that loses Chris Odom on one side and Waylon Roberson off the nose. Defensive back Justin Clifton is a big producer, and Kyle Wilson should be the new star of the linebacking corps, but six of the top nine tacklers are gone including the safety tandem of Money Hunter and Cody Brown. If that wasn’t bad enough, all five starters are gone off the offensive line that struggled for the ground game, but wasn’t awful in pass protection.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Biggest Positive
Can Justice Hansen take another big step forward? The Oklahoma transfer ended up throwing for over 2,700 and 19 scores, and ran a little bit, too. This could and should be his offense, but he’ll have help from Warren Wand and all the top running backs returning. Blake Mack is a big-play tight end, and the veteran receiving corps should be able to stretch the field and make Hansen’s life easier. If the line can give everyone time, the O should explode.
Really, Why Are The Arkansas State Red Wolves Ranked Here?
Give it a little time, and Arkansas State should be able to roll and be in the mix for the Sun Belt title once again. Give the coaching staff a little time and the lines should be fine, but it’s asking a whole lot to replace so much experience on both sides. With Nebraska coming up first and Miami to follow, it could be a rough go early on. The ranking will be much, much higher as the season goes on – just like last year – but give it a bit.