Observations from Wednesday's practice

The team is practicing outside today. One media member per outlet was allowed to watch the first 15 minutes of practice, which amounted to positional-type work. Scottie was there and relayed these thoughts to me. It’s worth noting that media members were assigned a 6-foot box to stand inside of, so it was difficult to see some position groups who were working far away.

• TJ Hammonds was working out with the wide receivers.

• The offensive line was working out as inside and outside groups. Shane Clenin (LG), Ricky Stromberg (center) and Beaux Limmer (RG) were working as a group, followed by Luke Jones (LG), Ty Clary (center) and Ryan Winkel (RG). Austin Nix was also working as a center.

• Myron Cunningham (LT) and Dalton Wagner (RT) were working together. Other left tackles were Brady Latham and Dylan Rathcke, and other right tackles were Ray Curry and Noah Gatlin.

• Scottie said Brad Davis was noticeably vocal with his linemen. He thought that offensive line worked with good tempo and were as physical as they could have been without pads on.

• Players who were not spotted today were Jalen Catalon, Trey Knox, Jarques McClellion, Tyson Morris and Chibueze Nwanna.

• Scottie said Feleipe Franks looks impressive and is taller than he thought he would be. Franks was wearing a left knee brace and “threw some pretty balls downfield.” KJ Jefferson also made a good looking pass on a rollout to his left.

• Defensively, Montaric Brown, LaDarrius Bishop, Greg Brooks and Devin Bush were at cornerback.

Clay was also there. These were some thoughts he relayed to me:

• Xavier Kelly has “tree trunks for arms. You don’t see biceps; just massive tree trunks. He’s a grown man as you thought he would, as advertised. His quickness and use of hands look like a polished defensive linemen.”

• Julius Coates has athletic ability and size.

• Dorian Gerald is thicker but has the same quickness as before.

• Blayne Toll looks like a “young colt.” He is athletic, has quickness, quick hands - everything you would think of from a guy who has played every position on the field. But he looks like he needs to thicken up.

• Clay was impressed with the foot quickness of Enoch Jackson. He said he did not remember him being that quick last year.

• Sam Pittman was with the defensive line for a little while. Clay said Pittman was in an encouraging mood and acted like he was impressed by what he saw.

• Derrick LeBlanc coaches hands on. He demonstrated hand placement and exactly how he wanted technique to be done. Clay said it was impressive as far as the technician he appears to be.

• Clay observed a good play by Jonathan Marshall that Pittman appeared to be pleased with.

• Andy Boykin passes the eye test and has SEC size.

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Enoch Jackson is a guy I think he had a chance to be special, he obviously had problems with the physicality in the SEC, when I saw him in a game,he got pancaked two or three times. But I’m like Clay, I absolutely love his athleticism, once he gets his strength up he’s going to be a handful because of his low center of gravity built like Warren Sapp. Good to hear about Kelly,I think this defensive line has a chance to be much improved with Coats and Gerald in there as well.

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Just got off a Zoom call with Mike Woods and Montaric Brown.

Woods says he caught three touchdowns today from Feleipe Franks. Treylon Burks, T.J. Hammonds and Peyton Ausley also had scores, he said. Wasn’t sure on who the QBs were.

Brown added that him, Greg Brooks and “a couple more people” had interceptions.

Already had several talk about grad transfer DB Jerry Jacobs. I asked Woods which of the DBs has jumped out to him so far, and Jacobs was the first player he mentioned. Brown says he has all the tools and can play safety, nickel and corner. Woods, too, said he thinks Myles Slusher is going to be really good, adding that he’s very fluid.

Woods says Kendall Catalon, De’Vion Warren and Tyson Morris have been solid behind the top 3 guys. No mention of Koilan Jackson, who I keep waiting on to take the next step.

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Saw good signs today. Coaches were getting after players and players were busting their butts. We only saw individual drills. It is a better roster. Need to see em in pads. But what I saw was good.

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What’s noticeably different than last year?

Noticeably, bigger lineman. I spent the entire 20 minutes with D-line. No roaming with current Covid protocols. I picked my spot. I wanted to watch Derrick LeBlanc. He can coach.

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I’ll be looking for a new roster with the current numbers. Watching the video of the WRs and then checking the official roster indicates there have been either changes or some players not yet listed. As I recall, there was mention of number changes a couple of months ago, but I can’t find it. Helps when watching these videos.

on twitter and instagram, the team posted some close up videos of OL and DL, man dorian Gerald looks QUICK for a big man. Stromberg was locking up somebody. some OL was torched on a spin move by Gerald.

GHG

I read elsewhere that Darin Turner is really looking good may even challenge Knox as a starter. Same size just faster and very aggressive going up and getting the ball. Just fwiw.

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Yes Gerald schooled a walkon OT, Kelly looked to be getting the better of Clenin but it’s very hard to block without pads. BTW it won’t be the last OT Gerald will school he is a beast! And he’s added about 20 LBS🙂

I really like the potential of Turner. He takes a little bit of the sting away from losing TQ. I felt TQ could have pushed for a starting spot with his size/speed.

Turner has a lot of potential but from what I gather is still a little bit raw,you always hear about them working on his technique.he has all the tools to be really good.

I bet Turner will challenge for a staring spot against Knox. Once we got into conference play last year, Knox had a really hard time getting separation and elite speed. I think that hurt him in SEC play. Hopefully he’s ready for that this year and can win his fare share getting off the LOS against press coverage because he’s not going to outrun SEC DB’s.

Scottie wrote about roster notables at the beginning of June.
Here is a link to that as well as a link to the most updated roster we have.


https://www.wholehogsports.com/20fbroster/

This roster has been updated to include RB Josh Oglesby, who was a member of Arkansas’ track and field team as a sophomore, and reflect Blayne Toll’s move to DE. WR Jackson Salley, who was previously listed on the roster, is not on it any longer. It aligns with the roster I was given by Arkansas’ communications staff before walking into practice yesterday.

Aloha Clay,

I like your priority list…linemen!!!

GHG!

Dorian Gerald is the guy who can make the biggest splash this year among the defensive ends. Also of note, Mataio Soli was working with the defensive line. To me, that suggests they are going to base out of a 4-man front, matching what Barry Odom said Friday. I think you will see Soli stand up and put his hand on the ground, too.

I’m torn on Knox. so tall and athletic, adjusts well to the ball in air and catches well in traffic. so could be a stud.

On the other hand, he is not fast. and how he gave up on that pick 6 was just very disappointing. On the same, play, where basically everyone quit, Treylon sprinted across the entire field and almost caught a fast DB at the goal line. Basically the only person who gave a crap at that point. made me love Treylon, and question Trey. But also, remember, Trey go hurt prior to that game, and by all accounts our coaches were a total clown show.

Lets hope that a healthy and mature Knox is the tall, athletic, tough in traffic receiver that he can be. and if he’s not, then Treylon and Woods will lead the way, with lots of good-looking youngsters, including the young tennessean, can fill in capably.

GHG

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This is the video of the WRs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruwXEs4GNBE&feature=emb_rel_end

Corrected 2017 as Scottie mentions below.