Practice notes and observations - Sept. 15

Arkansas practiced outdoors today and went in full pads. Here are a few takeaways from the 15-minute viewing period this afternoon:

• I forgot to note this yesterday, but linebackers Zach Zimos and Hayden Henry have been working in their own group this week. I believe they were spending time with Barry Odom today. There was plenty of drills emphasizing ripping off of blocks.

The remainder of the linebackers were on the far end of the turf field. I saw them working on jumping on fumbles and loose balls as well as their other daily drills.

• Sophomore receiver Treylon Burks made the catch of the open portion of practice. From the slot, he crossed the field heading toward the right sideline. I did not see who threw the pass, but Burks reeled the ball in with ease using only his left hand. He made a really challenging catch look almost routine. I’m always impressed with his burst and sure hands after watching him for even just a few moments.

• Staying with the receivers, Mike Woods was very vocal with his group, encouraging teammates to keep the energy and effort at a high level. I know Woods is looking to have a productive junior season and be a guy others in his room look to as a leader.

• Additionally, here is how I think the receivers stack up in terms of depth:

Top 3: Trey Knox, Treylon Burks, Mike Woods
Next 3: Tyson Morris, T.J. Hammonds, De’Vion Warren
Karch Gardiner looked to be receiving reps behind Knox and Morris, and Kendall Catalon jumped in behind Woods and Warren.

• Here is the rundown on the offensive line groups today:
First team: LT Myron Cunningham, LG Brady Latham, C Shane Clenin, RG Beaux Limmer, RT Noah Gatlin
Second team: LT Dylan Rathcke, LG Jalen St. John, C Luke Jones, RG Drew Vest, RT Ray Curry

• Offensive line coach Brad Davis and Sam Pittman were really vocal with the O-linemen today. Those two appear to be really pushing this group to be ready both mentally and physically for Game 1, which is approaching quickly.

• Reporters will get to talk to special teams coordinator Scott Fountain and a pair of players – not sure who they are yet – tonight around 7 p.m.

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Any idea why Zimos and Hay. Henry are in their own group?

Here is what Tom Murphy wrote in his observations from Monday’s workout:

“Hayden Henry and Zach Zimos got some individual work apart from the main linebacking corps with defensive coordinator Barry Odom, seeming to indicate it was the hybrid strong-side linebacker and heavy nickel spot Odom is employing for added versatility.”

OK that would make sense; training those two for that hybrid role.

Did anyone see from the OLINE group Clary, Stromberg, Wagner? I’ve not seen these guys mentioned in awhile and I think they all had starting experience in the past. Just odd to see them fall off the possible 2 deep.

Or are we experiencing some Covid hits and its just not talked about?

Who is Karch Gardiner? Where is he from? Classification? Size?

I realize you haven’t had the opportunity to watch much practice (no one has). Any idea how much hitting and tackling to the ground they have done?

Thanks for your hard work and observations.

Gardiner was on the roster last season. Only played against San Jose State. He’s a 5-9, 175-pound redshirt freshman from El Paso. Teammates have said he’s got really good hands. Don’t think he’s going to be a big-time contributor.

I mentioned Dalton Wagner in yesterday’s observations. He was with the first group. And I expect Ricky Stromberg to be a starter. Ty Clary is battling for time at guard and center.

This was a popular highlight catch by Karch:

The ADG has reported there have been some covid cases and quarantines within the team. There won’t be any confirmation of who those team members are.

I think the #s have been high recently. Double digit players out. Hopefully can get most back before GA but who knows what will happen during the season. Just crazy year. Maybe we’ll benefit by playing somebody short handed and get a big upset.

I’m told Stromberg, Clary and Wagner will be back soon. I am pretty sure they will be ready for opener. My source on this pretty reliable.

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Now it’s getting closer to the first game. Hopefully won’t be many or any starters at any position out for that. Bubble has to tighten up.