FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — McTelvin Agim thought when he signed with Arkansas out of Hope High School he would play three years and head to the NFL.
Instead, he opted to return for his senior year and spend four seasons in Fayetteville. Now, as the 2019 season approaches he has a different feeling than in 2018 and previously.
“I feel like last year I was kinda happy the season is finally here,” Agim said Tuesday night. “This year it’s more of a sad feeling this is my last one for sure. There’s no decision that I have to make at the end of the season. I’m gonna be gone regardless. I’m trying to take everything in and appreciate it.”
Agim talked about what drives him as a player.
“Basically my family, my legacy, things like that,” Agim said. “I’ve got pride where I’m from my city. Not a lot of people make it out of my city. I’m trying to be the greatest to ever come out of my city. I’ve got a lot of competition. Guys like La’Michael James, Tra Carson and people like that. So you’ve got to just stay on it.”
Is that what is helping motivate you for your senior season?
“No doubt,” Agim said. “Everything about my legacy. My kids come back what are they gonna say about me? I don’t want them to follow an average player. I want to leave a legacy, be legendary, so they can say I followed a beast. He did this, this and this.”
One thing that will help Agim for his senior season is he will be playing defensive tackle. Last season, he played all over the defensive line.
“It’s definitely great,” Agim said. “I basically came into spring and fall camp I knew I was gonna be straight inside. So it was great to finally be a piece and not a piece that if he’s hurt or if he’s not developed you are gonna play here. It was great to be a priority.”
You feel like you’re a pretty established player in the SEC, but still got some things to prove?
“Yes sir,” Agim said. “Most definitely I feel like I’ve got a lot of things to prove. I feel like my team especially has a lot to prove. We just came off a 2-10 season. We know we were definitely better than a 2-10 season, but that’s what the record showed so that’s what everybody is gonna see. It’s time to erase it, start over and start anew.”
Coach John Chavis said on Monday you guys would be as good or better than last year on the defensive line?
“I feel like we’re gonna be pretty good,” Agim said. “We’ve got T.J. Smith, me, Dorian Gerald who came back even better, Gabe Richardson and Jamario Bell. Those are all seniors I just named. It’s hard to replace senior leadership. We’ve got all these seniors. We didn’t have that many seniors on the D-line (last season) now we’ve got five or six seniors. Team leadership is something that’s gonna be translated over to Saturdays.”
Hicks Pleased With Decision
On Monday, Chad Morris named Ben Hicks the starting quarterback for Saturday’s season opener.
Are you glad that decision is behind you and what did you say to the quarterback room?
“Yeah, I’m at peace with it,” Hicks said. “I’m excited for the opportunity and very thankful for the opportunity and ready to lead the guys and score points.
“I told them how appreciative I was for the opportunity and really excited and appreciative of how the guys pushed me this fall. I think everybody was supportive of the decision and we understand to move forward. I’m excited.”
How did Nick Starkel take the news?
“He’s taken it fine,” Hicks said. “He’s done well. I think we would have both handled it well either way. So I appreciate Nick and we’ll be fine.”
While Hicks played three years at SMU and came to Arkansas as a fifth-year senior this will still be his first SEC start. He talked about that on Tuesday.
“Kind of crazy how fast it came,” Hicks said. “I remember getting here that first day kind of shell-shocked. It’s come fast. I’m just going to try and soak it all in and have fun and play my tail off.”
Hicks did have the spring with the team to get used to everything at Arkansas. He admits that was big for him.
“That definitely helped coming in and having those five months and the spring to gain confidence,” Hicks said. “I got to know the guys, gain their trust, in the spring and the summer was valuable. I think it helped me with this process in the fall and I’m appreciative of how they responded to me since I’ve been here and I look forward to finally getting out there and playing with them.”
Senior linebacker De’Jon Harris was asked about Hicks starting on Saturday?
“I feel like he earned it,” Harris said. “Well he did earn the spot obviously that he got the starting spot. Like I say, I feel like he took tremendous strides in fall camp than he did in spring ball.
“It’s probably because I wasn’t there in spring ball to see him. Like I said when we got basically all the guys in for the summer going into fall camp, I just felt like he’d take a bigger step and he did that and he earned the spot.”