Nate Allen

FAYETTEVILLE — Late in this election year Johnny Gibson of Dumas declared himself a candidate for office in Arkansas’ offensive line.

By last Saturday’s 31-10 tally over the Florida Gators, plus the vote of confidence from his coaches and teammates, it seems Arkansas has elected Gibson starting at least through Saturday night’s game with LSU.

Third-year sophomore walk-on Gibson campaigned for his first-ever Razorbacks start that opened at right guard and closed at left guard against Florida. He’s ready to start at either guard when the Razorbacks and LSU Tigers meet at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN in Arkansas’ 2016 home finale at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Coming into an open date week off Arkansas’ embarrassing 56-3 loss to the Auburn Tigers on Oct. 22 in Auburn, Ala., Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema publicly declared he was looking for change in the offensive line. And with starting right guard Jake Raulerson hobbling on an ailing ankle and starting right tackle Brian Wallace limping out of the Auburn game because of an injured toe shelving him from the bye week practices, it appeared Bielema and offensive line Kurt Anderson might have to make changes whether seeking them or not.

That’s when Gibson threw his hat in the ring.

“I refrain from saying this because I don’t want to have 20 guys standing at my door tomorrow,” Bielema said during last Saturday’s postgame. “But he came in and asked for it. He came in and said, ‘Coach, I’d like to have an opportunity?”

And Bielema asked himself, “Why not?”

Gibson certainly has the size, listed 6-4, 344. He has the smarts entering the UA on academic scholarship in electrical engineering and now majoring in computer science. And he has practiced at every line spot but center apprenticing in 2014 as a redshirt freshman

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