Practice notes and observations - 8/8

Arkansas took the field for Day 3 of preseason practice Sunday afternoon. Here are a few notes, takeaways and observations from the open portion of the workout:

• There was no action on the turf field today on account of the heat. It was 90 degrees in Fayetteville when practice began and felt like 97. The offense primarily went through drills on the grass field outside, and the defensive line and linebackers were indoors. Defensive backs began indoors then came out to the grass field for 1-on-1s with receivers.

• There was a New England Patriots scout/rep in attendance.

• Guys in green non-contact jerseys today were defensive lineman Tre Williams and defensive backs Myles Slusher and Kevin Compton. Slusher participated in the work vs. wideouts.

• Through the first three days, I’ve really been impressed with how vocal defensive line assistant coach Demerick Gary is. Jermial Ashley is definitely doing his job in leading the group, but Gary is a terrific voice all throughout position drills. He’s constantly pushing guys and has been very encouraging. I think guys are responding well to him.

• Some of the standouts from the 1-on-1s between DBs and receivers:

Montaric Brown had a couple productive reps, beginning the session with a pass breakup when defending Tyson Morris. He also broke up a pass in coverage against freshman Jaedon Wilson. There is plenty of competition at cornerback, but I don’t see Brown giving ground to anyone.

John David White won the two reps he had, first beating Jalen Catalon on a short crossing route for what would’ve been a moderate gain. Toward the end of the drill, he beat Malik Chavis on an out route and went up to make a nice grab. Wrote this weekend about how teammates have nicknamed him Diesel on account of his energy level, and he heard that thrown his way a lot after his second catch.

Kendall Catalon also had a nice couple of sequences, beating Hudson Clark for a reception on his first rep. It was an over-the-shoulder grab. And he beat Myles Slusher over the middle his second time around.

Some other notable 1-on-1s: LaDarrius Bishop forced an incompletion with Trey Knox as the target; Khari Johnson broke up a pass intended for Darin Turner; Simeon Blair broke up a pass when covering TJ Hammonds; Ketron Jackson beat Devin Bush; and freshman Bryce Stephens looked really impressive running his route and catching a ball matched up against Nathan Parodi.

Knox complimented Stephens’ speed on Saturday. He definitely showed it off in the one rep I saw.


Notes from cornerbacks coach Sam Carter’s availability:

• On Myles Slusher: He’s cross training. He missed a day because he had to go home for a funeral, but he can play nickel, corner and safety for us. He’s competing right now.

• Montaric Brown is our No. 1 guy. He’s our No. 1 corner. You can tell he’s been in the weight room. We’re counting on him.

• Hudson Clark worked this summer and you can tell he’s bigger and a little faster. And Greg Brooks is one of the leaders in the secondary. When he’s got great confidence, he’s got what it takes to be one of the best in the country. He studies football all day. Sometimes he texts me at 2-3 a.m. about what he’s watching on film.

• LaDarrius Bishop is one of the fastest guys on the team. I tell him a lot to remember you’re fast, but trust your technique, too.

• Once Khari Johnson flips the switch, he’s good enough to become one of our best corners. I talk to him sometimes about his attention span. He’s from the northeast and I think people kind of slept on him, but he can be a good player when he flips that switch.


Montaric Brown

• Being here for a while, I know the ins and outs and feel like a veteran. Young guys have been making improvements each day.

• I feel like Greg Brooks can do it all. He’s got speed, good ball skills. I feel like he can do anything. He can guard about anybody at the receiver position.

• I wanted to work on mental toughness during the offseason. Last year was up and down and I want to keep my confidence.

• I feel like the young guys are making a lot of strides. Since they’ve gotten here they’ve been working and making plays. Brown mentioned Chase Lowery, Keuan Parker and Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan as guys he has liked so far.

• Sam Carter treats everybody the same and he holds everyone to a standard. He’s a great coach and gives us great tips and whatever we need.

• I’m working on my craft and I feel like I’m the best corner in the SEC. You’ve got to have amnesia as a defensive back. Your time is going to come. You can’t dwell on the mistakes you might make.

• Treylon Burks got better in the offseason and his route running improved. I think he’s the best receiver in college football. His route running can really take him to another level.

Hudson Clark

• I wanted to work on my confidence and physicality in the offseason. Just getting better working with my hands as well.

• LaDarrius Bishop, who I’m competing with, is like my brother. We’re pushing each other. We’re both getting better because of it.

• Sam Carter works his tail off. He’ll give you his all on the field and in the meeting room. It’s been good for us being pushed by him.

• On Brown: I think he’s a really physical corner. Ever since I got here I’ve been looking up to him. Keeping that mind right, that’s big. He’s taken big strides there. He’s a big leader. He pushes us every day and gets us right.

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there’s a video on youtube, from one of this weekend’s practices. Hudson gets beat pretty bad by someone.

there’s a line of guys running drills, #5 really has quick feet, and I’m thinking “Rocket looks good”, but it was Gerald! man, I know it’s been said a lot, but that guy just soooooo looks the part of a stud SEC DL, on his way to the NFL. lets hope he stays healthy and finally puts it all together.


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