Greg Childs runs for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of last year's Auburn game. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
The interminable off season is over: Fall camp starts today and with it come high expectations for the 2011 Razorbacks. There are lots of reasons to be excited about this year's team. Below, I have listed five things that have me particularly jazzed about the soon-to-arrive season.
* The running game. When it came to the ground attack, 2010 was a decidedly bipolar year for the Hogs. As late as mid-October, asking "What's wrong the running game?" was guaranteed to be part of Arkansas fans' Sunday morning conversations. At the end of the season, however, the SEC's leading rusher was a Razorback. Watching Knile Davis develop into a first-team All-SEC member was one of the true joys of 2010. And maybe, just maybe, one of his backfield mates will develop into a consistent threat: Ronnie Wingo reportedly had a fine spring, and Dennis Johnson, who has had a few outstanding games at running back, returns from a painful injury that cost him most of last year.
Could the Hogs have a two- or three-headed monster in the backfield?
* Zach Hocker. I never thought that I would live to see the day when the Razorbacks once again had a kicker who didn't cause me to have a mild stroke when he took the field in a critical moment, but Hocker was that guy in 2010. A more experienced Zach can only mean good things for the Hogs.
* The LSU game. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. It's been made even more so by the string of thrilling Razorback-Tiger games that we've seen in recent years. And with a trip to Atlanta possibly, hopefully on the line, this year's showdown has all the makings of another classic. Bonus: this year, the game returns to its rightful place on the Friday after Turkey Day.
* The return of Greg Childs. It's tough to pick a favorite Razorback receiver: there are so many damn good ones. Childs is my favorite, though, and his ability to grind out those few extra yards after a defender starts to tackle him will be a welcome sight in 2011.
* Tyler Wilson. You can't expect him to always play like he did when he was thrust unexpectedly into last year's wild and wholly Auburn game, but it's going to be fun to see what Petrino will do with a more mobile quarterback. Don't get me wrong: I'll miss Ryan Mallett's cannon of an arm, but I think good things are in store for Tyler. After all, he periodically exhibits a powerful indicator of SEC quarterback success: the floppy, Southern frat-guy hairdo.
That's enough from me. What are the five things that have you the most excited about this year's Razorbacks?