From Denmark to the SEC: Hjalte Froholdt anchors line at Arkansas
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Arkansas senior offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt is a native of Svendborg, Denmark.
ATLANTA â" If there was a measure of which player took the longest journey to the stage of SEC football, submit Arkansas senior offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt as a candidate.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder starting playing football during his sophomore year in high school as a foreign exchange student from Svendborg, Denmark.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey joked on Monday that it was the first time he said the name of the town of almost 27,000 people on the southern region of Denmark.
Frohold t is thousands of miles away from home, but has become a strong force on the offensive line at Arkansas.
"I never really knew about Arkansas until they gave me an offer," Froholdt said. "I wanted to respect the fact that it was the first school to give me an offer the spring of my junior year. We drove down to Arkansas for my visit, and it was amazing."
So, what's Svendborg famous for?
It's the place of origin for Maersk, known as the world's largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996.
It's also home to a museum of a wide variety of stuffed animals ranging from birds to bears.
It's all the charm of a town that takes almost 12 hours to reach by airplane. By the time a night in the SEC is finished, a day in Svendborg is just beginning.
Froholdt came back to Denmark following his sophomore season but couldn't return to the United States as an exchange student, so he had to look into boarding schools.
Froholdt chose IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which had just completed its first season of varsity football.
He posted 55 tackles and 10 sacks during his senior season in 2014, leading the Ascenders to a 10-1 record and helping to build what is now one of the most successful high school programs in the country.
"I didn't know where I could go that a football team," Froholdt said. "We got in touch with those coaches (at IMG), and we figured things out. It was a phenomenal experience and you see what IMG has become."
He started his Razorbacks career as a defensive lineman, but moved to the offensive line in the spring of 2016.
Froholdt has started on the line ever since, totaling 1,630 snaps and allowing just three snaps over the last two seasons.
Froholdt is perhaps the most famous athlete from a town that has produced two Olympians.
Still, his notoriety in his native town may have t aken a slight detour recently as Denmark competed in the World Cup.
Froholdt watched as Denmark lost to Croatia in penalty kicks in the Round of 16.CLOSE
Arkansas senior offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt talks about the up-tempo offense implemented by new head coach Chad Morris.
"I didn't watch probably as I should have, but I know they worked very hard," Froholdt said. "When I did watch at the end, it gave me a lot of pride to watch them represent."
Arkansas finished 4-8 last season and switched head coaches. Chad Morris takes over the Razorbacks after spending three seasons at SMU.
While the running game was the staple of Bielema's teams, Morris will push the pace with more emphasis on the vertical game offensively.
"We're big guys (on the line), and we're not huge fans of running a lot," Froholdt said. "The game stays the same in the trenches. They're the same SEC D-linemen that we're facing, and all of them are phenomenal players."Source: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark