Practice notes and observations - 8/9

Arkansas held its fourth preseason practice on Monday, splitting time between the indoor facility and the grass field outside Walker Pavilion.

The Razorbacks did their Fastball Start today and we got to see the first bit of team action of training camp. Here is how the groups shook out 1-3 and who made what happen:

OFFENSE

QB

1 KJ Jefferson
2 Malik Hornsby
3 John Stephen Jones

RB

1 Trelon Smith
2 Dominique Johnson
3 Javion Hunt

WR1

1 Trey Knox
2 Kendall Catalon
3 Ketron Jackson

WR2

1 Jaquayln Crawford
2 TJ Hammonds
3 Bryce Stephens

WR3

1 Treylon Burks
2 Tyson Morris
3 Harper Cole

TE

1 Hudson Henry
2 Blake Kern
3 Nathan Bax

LT

1 Myron Cunningham
2 Jalen St. John
3 Drew Vest

LG

1 Luke Jones
2 Brady Latham
3 Dylan Rathcke

C

1 Ty Clary
2 Shane Clenin
3 Josh Street

RG

1 Beaux Limmer
2 Ryan Winkel
3 Terry Wells

RT

1 Dalton Wagner OR Marcus Henderson
2 Ty’kieast Crawford
3 Ray Curry

NOTES: Did not see Ricky Stromberg. Henderson got the first-team reps at right tackle during the quick start to the team work, then Wagner hopped in in Henderson’s place for the pass protection/rush drill. During position work with Cody Kennedy, Henderson was No. 1 at right tackle.

The first-team offense did not get much accomplished against the No. 1 defense. KJ Jefferson was pressured and scrambled left on one play, ran left again on another and threw incomplete on his final rep as he looked for Trey Knox. Trelon Smith ran through a good hole on play No. 2.

Malik Hornsby kept the ball on one play for what looked like no gain, completed a screen pass to Kendall Catalon for a minimal gain then threw incomplete with Dorian Gerald bearing down on him.

John Stephen Jones threw an interception on the final play. Deon Edwards got the pick. He ran left on play No. 1 for a decent gain, then Javion Hunt ran twice for a minimal gain.

DEFENSE

DE

1 Jashaud Stewart
2 Dorian Gerald
3 Morgan Hanna

DT

1 Eric Gregory
2 Taurean Carter
3 John Ridgeway

DT

1 Isaiah Nichols
2 Marcus Miller
3 Markell Utsey

DE

1 Zach Williams
2 Mataio Soli
3 Tre Williams

LB

1 Grant Morgan
2 Andrew Parker
3 Jackson Woodard

LB

1 Bumper Pool
2 Hayden Henry
3 Deon Edwards

CB

1 LaDarrius Bishop
2 Hudson Clark
3 Devin Bush

CB

1 Montaric Brown
2 Khari Johnson
3 Nick Turner

S

1 Jalen Catalon
2 Simeon Blair
3 Malik Chavis

S

1 Joe Foucha
2 Trent Gordon
3 Jayden Johnson

Nickel

1 Greg Brooks
2 Myles Slusher
3 Jacorrei Turner

NOTES: First-team defense looked standard aside from LaDarrius Bishop moving up to corner ahead of Hudson Clark, but it isn’t a huge surprise. Those two are in a battle at the position and it’s common to sometimes see the No. 2 slide up for a day or so on merit, or to see how he handles himself.

Arkansas’ three big transfer portal additions all got reps on the third-team defensive line. Shortly after the team work, they joined Dorian Gerald and made up one group in a pass protection/rush drill. I liked that bunch. Plenty of experience and playmaking between all of them.

Deon Edwards came away with an interception toward the end of the third team’s time on the field. Edwards also got a shout of approval from Sam Pittman in how he pursued a ballcarrier to the sideline.

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Any truth that we lost an OL to injury today?

bummer

Well, positive it isn’t a tear I suppose.

Notes from running backs coach Jimmy Smith’s availability tonight:

• Right now we have 3-4 guys battling to be the No. 2 back. All the guys are doing well and we’re going to find a No. 2 and No. 3. We’re looking for somebody who can do everything — catch, run inside and outside, protect.

• On AJ Green and Rocket Sanders: They do good things but they’re very different. Rocket is a sponge, but he has some more learning to do. AJ, things make sense to him and he has a calmness about him. Nothing is rattling him right now. Rocket can also factor into the return game.

• On Trelon Smith: He was a leader last year. He loves football. He goes hard all the time. Trelon practiced hard every day last year, worked hard every day last year. He just went hard. He’s not selfish at all, and I love that about him.

• More on Trelon: Last year what I enjoyed about him was he worked no matter what. I anticipate him having a really good year. I think he’s going to have a lot more opportunities and take advantage of it. He’s got a big heart. I call him Little Big Man. He plays like he’s the biggest guy out there. If I had two of him, I’d be all right.

• Dominique Johnson: He’s a guy who has some quickness and burst for a big guy. When he sees a hole, he can get to what he’s seeing.

I think Trelon will be even better if they don’t have to over-use him this year. I’m cautiously optimistic that will happen, though I kind of suspect that it may take a game or two for the 2/3 guys to sort themselves out. I wouldn’t really be surprised if one of the young guys steps into a big role by mid-season.

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Trelon Smith

• On Josh Oglesby: He could be a real good back this year. Being out last year, we needed him. With him being back, I feel like he can make some noise. We need his speed. We could use him in the slot this year. He could do a lot for us.

• Really nothing has changed since I’ve been here. I’ve tried to keep my head down and work hard. I don’t want to be too high or too low. Doing that, I’m able to help the young guys and bring them along. They come to me with a question, I can help. I tell them they don’t always have to go to Coach Smith if they need some help.

• Rocket is a quick learner. Big guy, very strong and fast. I really believe he will have a great future here. AJ Green, he’s coming along real quick. He’s been here the least amount of time and he’s picking things up fast. Javion Hunt, he keeps his nose down and works. Kind of a quiet guy. He’s just trying to prove himself. I think he’ll be ready to perform when it’s his time. Overall, those guys are going to be great.

• AJ just works. He’s getting the hang of things. If he can play this year and help us, that’s what he’s going to do

Josh Oglesby

• Playing football was my first love. I kind of had it in my mind that I wanted to play football while I was running track (at Arkansas). My dad knew Xavier Kelly’s dad, and that helped me get involved over here. This is something I wanted to take on, and I thought it would give me an advantage on the football field.

• On his injury last year: I’m 100% now. I had a foot last year, but I’m ready to go. And I plan on continuing being a dual-sport guy.

• All three freshmen work hard and are workhorses. In our room, we’re a hard-nosed room. AJ is kind of similar to me, can make quick cuts and sees the hole well. Rocket makes great cuts, too. They’re all doing what they need to do and are coming along well.

• On Trelon: He got his chance last year and ran with it. He’s a guy that I look up to. I’m behind him and I watch his every move. He comes in to work every day and you know that’s what you’re going to get from him.

• Getting over the injury was hard mentally. It was frustrating knowing I couldn’t compete. I was able to go through spring and I stayed in the training room. Didn’t miss a day. I was in there religiously. It was big for me to get back as fast as I could.

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Trelon seems like an awesome guy.

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Well just dadgummit. Losing a starting O lineman is beginning to be an Arkansas training camp tradition. Hate it for Rickey. Hope he’s able to bounce back and realize his awesome potential.

Rumbling is it isn’t bad and he may be back for the opener.

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Tom tweeted this a few minutes ago:

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That is encouraging. Get backup some needed work

What great news. I’ll sleep better now.

Agree. Although OL meshing is important, especially at center, I feel like Stromberg will be OK missing some time. He’s a vet and proven player. And a critical one at that.

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