Before he came to campus Arkansas freshman offensive lineman Ricky Stromberg was thinking he would redshirt in his first year on The Hill. But three games into the 2019 season the Tulsa native is making an immediate impact.
“I like to play physical like to hit people.”
That is part of the reason Stromberg has earned a starting spot on the Razorbacks offensive line.
” I really came in to camp just trying to make the travel squad. But I started playing and kind of realized I can play with these guys and I had no clue I could,” Stromberg said. “I realized I was going to play a bit after the first scrimmage when I ran with the 1st team a little bit.”
Weighing in at 276 Stromberg is undersized for a starting right guard. But he doesn’t let that effect his play on the field.
” I’m just trying to play with good technique,” Stromberg added. “Because I know my weight and my strength isn’t up there like the other SEC guys so I’m just trying to get good pad level on people and really just play with good technique.”
Stromberg’s teammates are taking notice of his work ethic on and off the field.
“He’s played hard that’s what empresses me the most about him,” Arkansas junior center Ty Clary said. “Just his effort and his work on the field.”
“He’s just very athletic. He tries hard, he’s a good player, he’s smart, he’s not intimidated,” added Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock. “Like I said, when we told him he was going to start against Ole Miss, he was just like, ‘Okay, sounds good Coach.’ He’s just a dude. He’s a player that we like, and he’s doing a really good job for us.”
Arkansas head coach Chad Morris is proud of the former Tulsa Union standout and what he brings to the Hogs offensive line.
“Ricky plays with a great balance. He’s very athletic. He moves really well. He adjusts to be able to re-direct, and he holds up against these defensive linemen. He does a good job pass protecting. He’s physical, athletic. He’s got a mean streak to him. And that’s really why he’s playing as well as he is. The moment’s not good big for him.”
Last week against Colorado State the Rams defensive players gave Stromberg a hard time after a couple of false start penalties.
“Colorado State they were just calling me freshman this and that, new guy all that stuff. When I made a mistake and jumped on 4th and one everyone was like freshman, freshman, freshman.”
Stromberg and the Hogs take on San Jose State tonight at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.