FAYETTEVILLE — The biggest question of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ 2016 offensive line becomes the line’s first answer for 2018.

Only two practices into last spring’s drills and new Arkansas coach Chad Morris declared left guard Hjalte Froholdt the leader of the line and among the leaders of the entire Razorbacks team and even of teams he’s head co-hallelujah.

“Froholdt on the offensive line is just a phenomenal leader,” Morris said after a March 3 practice. “He might be one of the top leaders I’ve ever been a part of as far as a team.”

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Great Dane is a far cry from the not so Great Dane of two years ago, who was then also big (295 pounds) strong and fast, but bewildered. Already a football prodigy as Denmark-born phenom, first seriously taking up American football as a high school exchange student defensive lineman in Ohio and signed by former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema as defensive lineman out of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Froholdt lettered as a 2015 true freshman reserve on the defensive line.

By the 2016 spring, Bielema was so short of offensive linemen and believed Froholdt so gifted that he moved him to first-team left offensive guard, a position often not mastered until after a redshirt year plus two years doing more apprenticing than playing.

Froholdt recalls veteran 2016 linemen Frank Ragnow and Dan Skipper flanking him at center and tackle literally pointing the way for him in practices and games as he struggled, learning the nuances of his position while matched against the best D-linemen in the country that you so customarily see in the SEC.

Now just two years later, earning individual accolades last season even on a 4-8 team, Froholdt leads the line that once led him.

“It’s crazy how fast time has gone by the last two years,” Froholdt said. “It’s been a rough transition. I’m not going to say it’s been smooth at all. I’ve made my share of mistakes and things I need to deal with my sophomore season and junior season but it’s progress.”

Progress indeed.

After starting every game and playing every snap in eight and not allowing a sack, Froholdt closed 2017 named first-team All-SEC by Pro Football Focus, third-team All-SEC by the Phil Steele publication and as a kinesiology major CoSIDA Academic All-District and for the second time SEC All-Academic.

He is on schedule to graduate in December.

Although learning much from his UA professors, nobody likely imparted to Froholdt more knowledge carrying over to today than Ragnow and Skipper.

“Frank and Skip, a couple of years ago, helped me, and just seeing how they led the offensive line and the offense as a whole, that really helped me,” Froholdt said. “I’ve kind of nitpicked things I’ve liked from each of them and I’ve kind of made my own way of leading I guess you could say.”

Like Ragnow and Skipper, Froholdt has always looked on the lean, mean side as an offensive lineman other than when he said he briefly over-bulked upon moving from the D-line to offensive guard.

“I came over at 295,” Froholdt said. “I got up to where I was hitting 325 or 330 but it was unhealthy weight. I started getting some lower back injuries not being used to having that much weight on my body. But, first with coach Herb (former strength coach Ben Herbert) and then with coach Tru (new strength coach Trumain Carroll) and his staff, they preach training and they preach nutrition. I’ve really taken into account that you can train all you want, but you can be absolutely miserable if you go home and don’t eat right. It’s not going to accumulate well. So I’ve really taken nutrition into account. I’m 305 to 315 depending on what I’ve eaten that day. I fluctuate a lot but anything within that 10 pound margin, I feel is a good weight for me.”

Froholdt said he and the line have set goals to peak physically and mentally, the keys to the myriad of other goals he knows others set for them.

“Of course, on game day there are about 72,000 coaches in the stands and they all have their own opinion in how we should play and how we should be coached,” Froholdt said. “I want us all to play to the best of our ability. I want us all to step up to the challenge that social media and the fan base has set for us.”