Practice notes and observations - 8/16

Arkansas went through its ninth day of preseason practice on Monday, two days after the team’s first scrimmage of training camp. Here are a few notes and observations from the open portion of practice:

• Players I did not see fully dressed out today: Running backs Trelon Smith and AJ Green, punter Sam Loy, linebacker Deon Edwards and offensive lineman Marcus Henderson. Green was present but did not have on a helmet or pads.

• A scout from the Washington Football Team was in attendance.

• Got to see a little bit of 1-on-1 work as well. Some of the notable plays:

Treylon Burks beat Joe Foucha twice on go routes
Devin Bush broke up a pass intended for Warren Thompson
Bush later won a rep against Tyson Morris, forcing an incompletion
Ketron Jackson beat Myles Slusher on a crossing route
Khari Johnson forced an incompletion against Jaedon Wilson
Darin Turner won a 50-50 ball against Nick Turner
John David White beat Foucha (end zone) and Hudson Clark for catches

• The Razorbacks began the day with their Fastball Start. Here is how the top three teams shook out:

DEFENSE

DE
1 Markell Utsey
2 Dorian Gerald
3 Eric Gregory

DT
1 John Ridgeway
2 Isaiah Nichols
3 Taurean Carter

DE
1 Tre Williams
2 Jashaud Stewart
3 Zach Williams

LB
1 Grant Morgan
2 Andrew Parker
3 Chris Paul Jr.

LB
1 Hayden Henry
2 Bumper Pool
3 Jackson Woodard

CB
1 LaDarrius Bishop
2 Devin Bush
3 Nick Turner

CB
1 Montaric Brown
2 Hudson Clark
3 Khari Johnson

Nickel
1 Greg Brooks
2 Myles Slusher
3 Zach Zimos

S
1 Jalen Catalon
2 Malik Chavis
3 Nathan Parodi

S
1 Joe Foucha
2 Jayden Johnson
3 Jacorrei Turner

S
1 Simeon Blair
2 Trent Gordon
3 Kevin Compton

OFFENSE

QB
1 KJ Jefferson
2 Malik Hornsby
3 Kade Renfro

RB
1 Rocket Sanders
2 Josh Oglesby
3 Javion Hunt

TE
1 Hudson Henry
2 Blake Kern
3 Nathan Bax

WR1
1 De’Vion Warren
2 Ketron Jackson Jr.
3 Warren Thompson

WR2
1 Jaquayln Crawford
2 Bryce Stephens
3 John David White

WR3
1 Treylon Burks
2 Kendall Catalon
3 Harper Cole

LT
1 Myron Cunningham
2 Jalen St. John
3 Drew Vest

LG
1 Brady Latham
2 Luke Jones
3 Cole Carson

C
1 Ty Clary
2 Shane Clenin
3 Josh Street

RG
1 Beaux Limmer
2 Ryan Winkel
3 Terry Wells

RT
1 Dalton Wagner
2 Ty’Kieast Crawford
3 Ray Curry Jr.

• With the first-team offense, KJ Jefferson ran the ball once, threw incomplete for Trey Knox then hit Raheim Sanders in the flat. In a scrimmage setting, Tre Williams probably would’ve been credited with a sack on the pass to Sanders.

• Malik Hornsby also ran once, handed to Josh Oglesby for a short run up the middle, threw a pass that Bryce Stephens couldn’t hang on to (might give Malik Chavis a PBU on the play) then threw low for Ketron Jackson.

• Kade Renfro ran with the 3s, handing off to Javion Hunt once, hitting Warren Thompson on a slant and Harper Cole on a deep ball with Khari Johnson and Kevin Compton in coverage. Chris Paul might’ve been given a sack in a scrimmage prior to the throw.

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Thanks for the observations. Does not seem stellar performance for any quarterback. Do you get sense coaches are concerned about this position? (Knowing many coaches worry about qb)

“John David White catches”. This seems to be a recurring statement in many of these first practices. Sometimes, and with some players, physical stature just isn’t that big a deal. Today he beat 2 defensive players who have had lots of starts. Yet he seems to be stuck in the 3rd WR rotation?

The DL line-up makes it look like a couple of our transfers are doing really well?

And I echo Bushhog’s question?

Notes from special teams coordinator Scott Fountain’s media availability:

• Cam Little has done a really good job. Big thing for him was he came in in the spring and that gave him a leg up. He struggled a bit in the spring, but he’s had a good camp so far. He’s got good operation and height on kicks. His kickoffs are getting better. He placed it well, but we want to put it out of the back of the end zone. He’s making his field goals, even when we’re moving the ball around.

• Punt return for us, I come from a background where I really want to find a great player to do that because he can be a game changer. Punt return is effort up front. We just have to find the right guy in the back end. Greg Brooks, Nathan Parodi, Bryce Stephens and Chase Lowery have been working there.

Brooks came to me this summer and said he wanted to return punts. He also enlightened me that he could catch and work back there. … He can field the ball. That’s the most important thing. And we want a difference maker when the ball is in his hands. We talk quite often about the lack of punt returns for scores.

• De’Vion Warren’s injury helped us kind of focus in on who could be next at kickoff return. Right now we have LaDarrius Bishop, Raheim Sanders, Myles Slusher, Josh Oglesby working there, and TJ Hammonds is in the mix a little bit. I want to have Warren ready but we want to have other experienced guys back there.

• We’ll work punters at place holder and we’ll also mix in some quarterbacks. Kade Renfro and John Stephen Jones have gotten reps.

• In a week to 10 days, we’re going to be nailing down our guys at kicker and punter. I like where Cam Little is headed right now. If Vito Calvaruso can keep improving, he could be very solid.

• When Little got here, his bench max was about 135 pounds. He’s gotten stronger. The body weight and strength he has put on has helped make him a better kicker.

• The punting job will be battled out. Middle-to-late next week we’ll start figuring out who the guy is there.

I don’t think there is any way to take that tiny 15 to 20 minute snap shot media is getting to figure anything about the quarterbacks. I really don’t. It would be impossible. It seems like players and coaches are up beat about the quarterbacks for whatever that’s worth.

White has had a good camp based on what I’ve seen. He’s been consistent in 1-on-1s. Got sure hands, quick and he’s a fighter.

Wrote last week that all three of the transfer defensive linemen are in the 2-deep. All three should produce right away.

I can’t give a great assessment of the QBs to this point, but based on the early portions of practice I think accuracy can stand improvement as a whole.

Just something to consider on scrimmages. Apparently Texas offense was awful. Didnt get a first down for the first six drives.

Their is a lot of over-reaction happening in every fanbase. Mississippi State had 10 total rushing attempts and 49-50 pass attempts with astronomical completion rates for each QB in their scrimmage. I bet their fanbase is envisioning a double-digit win season…lol

I believe their are 24-25 fall practices/scrimmage allowed total. Some Arkansas fan’s were actually expecting a fine tuned product in week 2?

We’re going to have QB troubles this year. I hope I am totally wrong but at this point I don’t think I am.

thanks, scotty, really appreciate your hard work.

Lots of guys on this team that I’m anxious to see play, seems more quality depth than we’ve had in a while.

also the injury list is very short, knock on wood.

GHG

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Yes, I saw that. I was referring to 2 of them in the starter spots today. I realize they are trying different combinations on the DL, but thought it was a good sign for the DL.

Defense is usually ahead one week into camp. That’s the way I’ve always expected it to be, too. If your defense is not ahead right now, your team is in trouble.

All three were first teamers today. Good sign that they’re picking things up and performing, to this point, at a level the coaches expected this summer.

The QB play against Mizzou was good enough to win. The defense just collapsed late in the game and gave up the winning drive. So, a year later, with a better offensive line, the QB position should be fine. Fix the defense and we win twice as many games this year as last year. Worry about the defense, not the QB, and I am getting encouraged that they will be better as well. Go Hogs.

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I agree Hogmodo.
Let’s not forget, Special Teams were a disaster last year. That important aspect can’t go anywhere but up.

saw Trey Knox mentioned in your notes but he’s not listed in the 3 deep at any of the wide outs…what’s up with that?is he in the doghouse

Knox was with the first team today. Should’ve noted that, sorry. The 1s actually went with a four-receiver look without a tight end.

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Hogs totaled 34 first downs and 566 yards against Missouri. KJ looked good to me and I think he can play better than that.

The QB’s have been inconsistent sounds like to me which is what we can’t have.We have to make the easy throws(slants,outs,comebacks etc) to move the chains.I saw the clip from today and and as an example of what I’m talking about is Hornsby was throwing a 8 yd slant and threw it straight into the ground, right at his feet,that’s the kind of stuff that just can’t happen. We have to be able to make the routine throw.We have time to get there,hope we will.

You are correct in that game but it was one game. Defense improvement will be important and needed to help us win more. Until I see Jefferson in a few games I will reserve judgement. I’m sorry but I’ve ready too many pre-season commentaries on THIS site about improvement in this area or that area and not seen it on the field where it matters.