It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Three years ago, McTelvin Agim arrived on the UA campus after a storybook high school career. At Hope High, he’d been the feature of a Sports Illustrated video feature, racked up 24 sacks as a senior and presented such a terrifying obstacle opposing teams didn’t even try running his way.
When Agim learned he’d been ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the nation, he still wasn’t satisfied.
“I was like, ‘Thank you, I appreciate that.’ But I feel like I’m the best in the nation,” he said. “That’s just how I felt. You’ve just got to feel like that. If you want to be great in life, you’ve got to feel like that.”
Given Agim’s prodigious strength and quickness at 6’2″ and 280 pounds, he seemed destined to make the NFL as soon as possible. He told then coach Bret Bielema and the rest of the coaching staff his plan was to leave the UA after three seasons to make his mark at the highest level.
Well, those plans will have to wait.
McTelvin Agim announced today he’s returning to the UA for his senior season:
Along with other seniors-to-be like De’Jon Harris, Agim will return for one final season, one final chance at serving something greater than himself. No doubt, the last two seasons have been just as disappointing for him as they have been for other Razorback fans.
Things started out well for Agim in Fayetteville. In his first few months on campus, he was already getting rave reviews from coaches. “One of the things is he’s got a great attitude,” Arkansas defensive line coach Rory Segrest said. “He’s very mature coming in as a freshman. He’s got great direction, know what he wants to get done. I think he’s a guy that has a good head on his shoulders, and he’s got the physical tools to develop. I’m looking for some big things from him.”
“We had expectations of him coming in, and he certainly met those in the spring. He got the chance to rotate in with the first-team defense at times, and just being on the field with guys like Deatrich Wise and Brooks Ellis, I think that goes a long way in a player’s development.”Former defensive coordinator Robb Smith
Agim racked up 27 tackles (5.5 behind the line of scrimmage) and 2.5 sacks to earn All-SEC Freshman Team honors, and was expected to be catapult into an All-SEC caliber player after that.
For sure, he has been a good player.
As a sophomore, he racked up 37 tackles, (7.5 behind the line of scrimmage), 2.5 sacks and this O.G. intro to a highlights reel:
As a junior, Agim upped it to 45 tackles (10.0 behind the line of scrimmage) with 4.5 sacks while playing at both defensive end and tackle. Over the last two years, he’s occasionally flashed brilliance, reminding people of the freakish athleticism and potential he showed against TCU.
But Sosa hasn’t been consistently great — yet. His individual stats have pretty much gone to waste in the wake of back-to-back subpar seasons from the team on the whole. In 2019, though, he has a chance to finally put together the All-SEC season that has long seemed to be his destiny. With an influx of a star freshman group at the defensive end position, expect “Sosa” to play mostly inside at defensive tackle.
Now that he’s grown accustomed to defensive coordinator John Chavis, McTelvin Agim could have a bonanza season. Especially if he passes the same kinds of lessons to freshmen Charles Clay, Mataio Soli and Zach Williams that he learned from Deatrich Wise and others.
Some of the new star signees who are rolling into Arkansas this year have come up with a catchphrase for the team’s change of attitude and talent level: TNA, or “The New Arkansas.”
Of course, Arkansas will finally be back it when brings out the best from both the new and the old.
Agim’s return is a huge help on both fronts.
Watch an Inspiring Sports Illustrated Feature on Agim’s Tough Childhood in Texarkana and Hope: