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Boyd, Franks Give Arkansas Strong Foundation

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Together, Feleipe Franks and Rakeem Boyd form an offensive backfield to which few opponents can compare.

Arkansas has a promising new head football coach in Sam Pittman, formerly the associate head coach and offensive line coach at Georgia, roles he recently held for the Razorbacks from 2013-2015. What Arkansas also has is one of the most accomplished offensive backfields in all of college football. The addition of Florida-transfer Feleipe Franks at quarterback and the return of 1,133-yard rusher Rakeem Boyd gives the Razorbacks a strong foundation on which to build on for this fall.

All that Boyd has done will continue to be a featured part of Arkansas' brand as he is one of the top running back returnees in the country. Boyd is one of only six running backs nationally, joining just Clemson's Travis Etienne, Oklahoma State's Chubba Hubbard and Oregon's C.J. Verdell in the Power Five, to return after an at least 1,100 rushing yards at 6.15 yards per carry. Consistency, in addition to efficiency, has been part of Boyd's profile. Over his last 19 games, Boyd has rushed for at least 89 yards 12 times. He, for good measure, has caught a total of 42 passes the last two years.   

Franks is one of the most experienced quarterbacks around. A three-year starter at Florida, he helped the Gators to ten wins and a Peach Bowl victory in 2018. Already, Franks has scored 46 career touchdowns. What he did in his last full season as starter at Florida was quite impressive. That fall, Franks threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for seven more; he is one of just ten members of the SEC's "24-7 Club" the past 20 years, along with Kellen Mond, Joshua Dobbs, Chad Kelly, Dak Prescott (2x), Blake Sims, Johnny Manziel (2x), Aaron Murray, Cam Newton and Tim Tebow (2x).

Who knows what this college football season will look like as there are plenty of difficult questions left to answer. When or if teams do play, Arkansas will look to proven commodities at quarterback and running back alike. Experience can be critical in this sport and Pittman, entering his first year as a college head coach, has a number of players who have seen it all.

Together, Franks and Boyd form an offensive backfield to which few opponents can compare. Pittman's transition will be accelerated by two leaders at two important positions. Franks and Boyd have accomplished a lot in their careers and, as veterans, look poised for more.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports