Watch for Deatrich Wise Jr. on the Arkansas defensive line, I think he’ll develop into a great DE for the Razorbacks.
Wise makes up one-third of Arkansas’ solid redshirt freshman defensive line prospects, along with Darius Philon and JaMichael Winston, but Wise is the most intriguing to me. Wise could take a similar development path to J.J. Watt for a number of reasons.
First, they share Bret Bielema as their college coach, who spent the past seven seasons as Wisconsin’s head man before making his move to the SEC this offseason.
Second, neither were elite high school prospects. Watt, the 172nd-ranked defensive end prospect in the ESPNU class of 2007, actually transferred to Wisconsin from Central Michigan following his freshman season. Wise, meanwhile, was the 150th-ranked DE prospect in the ESPNU class of 2012.
Third, Watt and Wise are both tall ends. Watt is 6’5”, and Wise is 6’6”. Watt uses his height to swat passes away with regularity for the Houston Texans, and Wise has the physical tools to do the same at Arkansas. It’s premature to compare Wise to Watt, but as you can see, there are some parallels.
Despite being redshirted in 2012, Wise did appear in two games for the Razorbacks (Jacksonville State and Alabama). Bielema should call Wise’s number a lot more this season, and he’ll get ample opportunity to show off his skills.
Arkansas’ whole defense should improve with Bielema in charge, and Wise could be one of the Razorbacks' defenders who surprises in 2013.