SEC Football: Five teams with the most experience from juniors

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Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Alex Collins (3) runs past Ole Miss Rebels defensive back Tony Conner (12) during a game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Ole Miss 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

4. Arkansas Razorbacks

It’s the year of the Hog in Fayetteville as many pundits have tabbed Brett Bielema’s Arkansas team as the dark horse to win the SEC West. The media slotted the Hogs as the fourth best team in the West and tied for the fifth best team overall, in the Southeastern Conference.

Arkansas returns 16 starters and a ton of momentum from the end of their 2014 campaign, but most of all the Hogs have done a great job under Bielema building depth as they had 230 starts last year among their sophomores – 115 on offense and 103 on defense, which was good for 24th in the country in this department.

Running back Alex Collins went over the one thousand yard mark last year and scored 12 touchdowns, on his way to a 5.4 yard per carry average. Also sophomore running back Korliss Marshall saw time in six ball games a year ago, giving the Hogs another option in the backfield.

Hunter Henry came on the scene his sophomore season at tight end, becoming one of quarterback Brandon Allen’s favorite targets. Henry caught 37 balls for 513 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore wide receiver Drew Morgan played in all 13 games a year ago and could be an even bigger factor in the Arkansas offense in 2015.

Sophomore punter Toby Baker got limited time in 2014, but should be the full-time starter this year for the departed Sam Irwin-Hill.

Brooks Ellis tallied the teams second most tackles a year ago as a sophomore with 72, while defensive lineman Darius Philon is the returning sack leader from a year ago with 4.5. Finally, D.J. Dean returns in the secondary as he was tied on the team in interceptions with two.

The Hogs could in fact make a magical run in the SEC in 2015, and if they do, much of their success will be on last year’s sophomores, who are now juniors.

Next: Alabama