by Tyler ClarkAthletic Media Relations
There is no doubt that the Razorbacks’ offensive juggernaut has greatly benefited from the presence of DeMarcus Love. And the Lancaster, Texas, native’s senior season has only just begun. The honors have been piling up for redshirt senior as he enters into his last year as a Razorback.
Recently, The Sporting News named the 6-5, 315-pounder as the No.1 offensive lineman prospect for next spring’s NFL draft. In addition, Love was just named to the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list. He was previously added to the Outland Trophy watch list. With all of the attention surrounding Love, one may wonder how he avoids outside distractions.
“I don’t really read the paper or anything like that,” Love said. “When I do get to read it, usually someone hands me an article or something. I just have to put those distractions behind me and look at what the team is game planning for that week. I really just have to focus on the team.”
It comes as no surprise that Love is such a team-oriented individual. After all, he is one of the team’s captains. Love thinks by sticking to business on the practice fields, the Razorbacks will be ready for whatever comes their way.
“I try to get my teammates motivated by just practicing hard, working hard and fighting through pain and injuries,” Love said. “Guys know that every Saturday I’m going to be behind them and they can look to me for courage on game day. As a team captain, you have to lead by example. It’s about more than just being vocal. You have to showcase your skills by example and you have to go out there and be consistent.”
It’s safe to say that the standard that Love has set for his teammates has certainly been nothing short of exemplary. Love enters the 2010 Arkansas football season having made 24 starts on the offensive line in his UA career. Love’s number of consecutive starts is now at 18, starting in every contest in the 2009 season along with the TTU win. Protecting the quarterback is no doubt a huge priority in the Razorbacks’ potent offense. Last season, Love blocked for an offensive unit that led the Southeastern Conference in scoring (36.0) and passing offense (295.5). Love was described by former teammate and defensive linemen, Malcolm Sheppard, as “nasty” on the field. This upcoming season, opposing defenses should take note.
With such an exciting season expected for the Razorbacks this season, motivation wasn’t hard to come by in the offseason for the Razorback captain.
“What keeps me motivated during the offseason is just grinding,” Love said. “I work hard for all the people who support me and for my family. That’s the easiest motivation right there.”
As the 2010 campaign gets rolling, Love will be wearing the cardinal and white UA uniform for the last time this season. Being a Razorback is something he will miss immensely and the pageantry and excitement surrounding college football Saturdays is something he has certainly grown fond of.
“My favorite thing about being a Razorback is ‘Running through the A’,” Love said. “I don’t really get to do it anymore because I’m a captain. I have to come out on the field early for the coin toss. I just love game day. There is no better feeling than running on that field and getting ready to play in front of 72,000 screaming Arkansas fans. What I will miss about college football and college in general is the energy on game day. I’ll also miss the adrenaline rush and the excitement of the fans and everybody cheering. I will miss the tradition.”