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Whaley makes impression in losing cause

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Packing a wallop: Whaley, who ran for 52 yards on only seven carries as Arkansas chased the game, continues to enhance his reputation

Devwah Whaley led the University of Arkansas in rushing yards during his team’s 38-10 home defeat by Louisiana State University at the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at the weekend.

The Bermudian-born running back rushed for 52 yards on seven carries, with a longest run of 34 yards, his second-longest of the season.

The Arkansas freshman has rushed for 50 or more yards five times this season and he also had 23 receiving yards in Saturday’s humbling loss to LSU, which was televised live.

The Razorbacks, who went into the game ranked 25th nationally, dropped to 6-3 for the season and 2-4 in the SEC West.

As Arkansas’s second-highest recruit since the ESPN 300 listings began a decade ago, expectations are high for the 5ft 11in, 216lb Whaley, who is heavily tipped by ESPN’s five SEC reporters to win the conference’s Freshman of the Year Award this season.

He has rushed for 435 yards on 78 carries and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

The son of former middle-distance runner Devoe Whaley underlined his potential by rushing for 135 yards on nine carries in the Razorbacks’ 52-10 rout of Alcorn State, including a 75-yard touchdown run, his longest rush of the season and first touchdown in college football.

He has also rattled up 92 receiving yards on three receptions with an average of 30.7 yards and longest of 43 yards.

Whaley, who celebrated his 19th birthday two weeks ago, groomed his athletic skills in Bermuda playing various sports while attending Dalton E. Tucker Primary and Sandys Middle School before moving to the United States.

He committed to play for Arkansas over several other colleges, including Texas and Georgia.

In his senior year at Central High School in Texas, he rushed for 1,701 yards and 23 touchdowns.

He also rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries in the Under Armour All-American Game that was played, while his future team were beating Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.

Arkansas, who fell out of the rankings with their most recent defeat, are away to unranked Mississippi State on Saturday in another game to be televised live on ESPN2.