Arkansas Football: What You Need to Know About Razorbacks TE Chris Gragg

Joe FitzhenryCorrespondent IIJuly 27, 2012

Arkansas Football: What You Need to Know About Razorbacks TE Chris Gragg

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    Sick of sitting in the shadows of LSU and Alabama, the Arkansas Razorbacks come into 2012 with lots of high hopes. 

    Coming off just the third 11-win season in school history, the Razorbacks enter this season with an SEC Championship and even bigger things on their mind. 

    It will start with the offense, with Tyler Wilson returning to lead an explosive attack that is getting back Knile Davis as well. 

    However, one of the most important guys on the offense is Chris Gragg, the tight end. 

    Here are three things you need to know about Gragg as we inch closer to the 2012 season. 

He's Underrated

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    With the departure of Joe Adams, Greg Childs and Jarius Wright to the NFL, Gragg will finally get his chance in the spotlight this season. 

    After spending most of his junior year in the shadow of those guys, as well as Cobi Hamilton, he should get a chance to post some huge numbers in 2012. 

    His eight-reception, 119-yard, one-touchdown performance against Mississippi State last season showed just a little bit of what Gragg is capable of with consistent touches. 

    He should become one of Tyler Wilson's top targets in 2012. Expect him to be a household name by season's end. 

Mackey Award Watch List

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    Similar to the Doak Walker Award with running backs, or the Biletnikoff Award with receivers, all collegiate tight ends have hopes of being named to the Mackey Award watch list. 

    Chris Gragg was given that honor a couple of weeks ago, and with a big season, could be bringing home the hardware in a few months. 

    He would be the second Razorback ever to win the award after D.J. Williams claimed it in 2010. 

    The Warren, Ark. native is the leading returning receiver for this Arkansas team and has a chance to burst onto the scene in a big way with an ever-increasing role in the offense. 

Best in the SEC?

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    Philip Lutzenkirchen of Auburn may have a thing or two to say about this, but Chris Gragg has a legitimate chance to cement himself as the SEC's best tight end with a breakout season. 

    After catching just eight balls in 2010, and improving that number to 41 last season, who knows what kind of statistics we'll be seeing from Gragg this time around. 

    He reminds me a lot of D.J. Williams in terms of both his pass-catching and blocking ability. The talent is there for Gragg to be not only one of the conference's best, but one of the best in the nation as well. 

    A total of 70-80 catches isn't out of the realm of possibility for this Razorback. 

    The chance is there. It's now time to sit back and watch Gragg rise to stardom.