Arkansas vs. TCU: Breaking down the matchup by recruiting rating

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss how the Razorbacks’ starters match up with TCU in terms of recruiting rating.

Arkansas holds slight talent edge over TCU

Recruiting star ratings don’t mean everything. The stories of unrated walk-ons turning into stars seem to be more common by the year.

But championship teams aren’t built on such players. Those are often put together with a wealth of talent and depth. Development, Arkansas’ M.O., is important as well. Yet, the more overall talent a team has, the more potential that developmental process has.

With this in mind, SEC Country will be looking at how Arkansas stacks up against its opponent each week based on star rating. Here’s how things compare against TCU, the Razorbacks’ opponent this Saturday.

Not including specialist, the Hogs’ depth chart has 23 listed starters (12 on offense with two tight ends listed because of how they use them) who ranged from unrated to 5-star prospects by the 247Sports composite as recruits. With 3-star recruits (14) leading the way, Arkansas’ star-rating average among the starters is 3.17.

The Hogs’ Week 1 depth chart averaged a 3.26 rating. But freshman walk-on Ty Clary was a surprise starter against Florida A&M. He was a 2-star prospect. Brian Wallace, who was bumped out of the lineup as a result, was a 4-star recruit.

Here’s the full breakdown after Week 1:

5 stars (1)

  • DE McTelvin “Sosa” Agim

4 stars (6)

  • QB Austin Allen
  • RB Devwah Whaley
  • TE Cheyenne O’Grady
  • LG Hjalte Froholdt*
  • C Frank Ragnow
  • NT Bijhon Jackson

3 stars (14)

  • FB Kendrick Jackson
  • WR Deon Stewart
  • WR Jared Cornelius
  • TE Austin Cantrell
  • LT Colton Jackson
  • DE T.J. Smith
  • OLB Randy Ramsey
  • MLB De’Jon Harris
  • MLB Dre Greenlaw
  • OLB Dwayne Eugene
  • CB Kamren Curl
  • SS Santos Ramirez
  • FS Josh Liddell
  • CB Henre’ Toliver

2 stars (1)

  • RG Ty Clary

No stars (1)

  • RT Johnny Gibson

* Froholdt was recruited as a 4-star defensive lineman.

TCU has a near-identical recruiting rating average in its starting lineup. With 17 3-star prospects, the Horned Frogs average exactly 3 stars per starter. They also list 23 starters (12 on offense, with 4 wide receivers).

Here’s the full breakdown for TCU based on its Week 1 depth chart:

4 stars (4)

  • QB Kenny Hill
  • RB Kyle Hicks
  • WR John Diarse
  • DT Ross Blacklock

3 stars (17)

  • LT Joseph Noteboom
  • LG Austin Schlottmann
  • C Patrick Morris
  • RT Lucas Niang
  • WR KaVontae Turpin
  • TE Cole Hunt
  • WR Ty Slanina
  • WR Jaelan Austin
  • DT Chris Bradley
  • DE Mat Boesen
  • LB Arico Evans
  • LB Travin Howard
  • SS Ridwan Issahaku
  • FS Niko Small
  • DB Nick Orr
  • CB Ranthony Texada
  • CB Julius Lewis

2 stars (1)

  • DE Ben Banogu

No stars (1)

  • RG Matt Pryor

As is the case with most Big 12 programs, the Horned Frogs’ top talents are within the skill positions. Diarse (LSU) and Hill (Texas A&M) both transferred in after signing with other programs. That combination is likely to pick on Curl early and often with the freshman projected to make his first career start after it was announced that the Hogs lost Ryan Pulley for the season Saturday.

Blacklock, a redshirt freshman, will likely provide a strong test for Clary. How the freshman holds up could be crucial to Arkansas’ chances.

From the star-rating perspective, Arkansas has a noticeable advantage with its defensive front. TCU has four 3-star players and one unrated starter on its offensive line. The Hogs have Agim (5 stars) and Jackson (4 stars) as starters, with Austin Capps (4 stars) and Briston Guidry (4 stars) in the rotation.

The Hogs dominated in that area last September in a 41-38 overtime win at TCU. They had 3 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. TCU did rush for 195 yards, but much of that was Hill (93 yards) scrambling. That’s more of an indictment on the scheme than the players.

The most competitive matchup looks like Arkansas’ wide receivers against the TCU defensive backfield. Both groups are filled with 3-star prospects. That matchup should go a long way toward deciding the outcome.

Arkansas will host TCU on Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT. Both teams are 1-0 after lopsided wins against FCS opponents over the weekend.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

The post Arkansas vs. TCU: Breaking down the matchup by recruiting rating appeared first on SEC Country.

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