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The Next Level: Arkansas' Kiero Small gets his glory

By Chris Eckard

The Baltimore Sun

11:28 AM EST, November 21, 2011

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The Next Level is a weekly Recruiting Report feature that focuses on natives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County who appear on NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters. Chris Eckard, a senior at the University of Maryland and Baltimore Sun sports department intern, is your author.

At 5-10 and 255 pounds, Arkansas junior fullback Kiero Small (Cardinal Gibbons) has one purpose for the No. 3 Razorbacks: to bulldoze.

The former junior college linebacker takes pride in laying out defenders to pave a path for his running back or quarterback. But Saturday, against Mississippi State, Small received his first handoff at Arkansas.

The fullback barreled into the end zone from a yard out to score his first touchdown, as the Razorbacks cruised to a 44-17 win.

“I think he gives our offense energy because of his toughness and physicalness,” coach Bobby Petrino said to the media earlier this season. “When you watch the video and you see the hits and collisions and the number of the times he’s the hammer and not the nail show up. It’s a lot of fun. He really helps us.”

Small, who’s long road to Fayetteville, Ark., was chronicled by The Sun’s Matt Bracken, doesn’t play a glamorous position, but he has started every game for one of the best teams in the country. His touchdown score, and his contributions this entire season, is why Small is this week’s Next Level Player of the Week.

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