Practice notes and observations - Sept. 25

With Saturday’s game being indoors, Arkansas’ practice took place inside Walker Pavilion again on Wednesday. A few notes from the 20-minute viewing window and our pre-practice session with Chad Morris:

  • Offensive linemen Colton Jackson, who will be available vs. Texas A&M, and Austin Capps did not go through the team period again today. They were present, but Myron Cunningham filled the left tackle spot and Adcock was at left guard. Alongside Cunningham and Adcock was (L–>R) Ty Clary, Ricky Stromberg and Dalton Wagner.

  • With the Razorbacks four games into the season, Morris was asked if any players have come to him wishing to transfer. As of right now, he said, that has not happened.

  • With Chase Hayden out for Saturday’s game, and De’Vion Warren also doubtful, Arkansas’ kickoff return plans were brought up. Morris said that will become more clear and set following today’s practice. In the early portion of the workout, Tyson Morris, A’Montae Spivey, T.J. Hammonds and Nathan Parodi were fielding kickoffs. I would assume those will be the guys on Saturday.

  • During the team portion of practice, Nick Starkel led the first team offense and Rakeem Boyd joined him in the backfield. There was a bit of a surprise in terms of receivers - T.Q. Jackson hit the field alongside Tyson Morris and Mike Woods. The offense got Jackson involved quite a bit in the handful of plays it ran, including a quick pass in which he motioned across the formation and into the flat for a reception, and a reverse. Starkel did complete the pass to Jackson for a moderate gain and missed on a deep ball intended for Mike Woods. Jarques McClellion was in coverage.

  • Spivey and Hammonds saw time with the second team offense today. Hammonds was as involved in the offense as T.Q. Jackson was. Hammonds was pretty tired after running 2-3 consecutive plays designed for him, but you can tell he’s excited to be back in the mix.

  • There were no changes to the first team defense from yesterday. Mataio Soli, TJ Smith, Sosa Agim and Gabe Richardson made up the defensive line; Scoota Harris and Hayden Henry ran at the second level; Montaric Brown and Jarques McClellion worked at the corner spots; Kam Curl and Joe Foucha at safety and at Nickel was Greg Brooks. Still no Bumper Pool in the team period. He was present and wearing a standard white jersey, though.

  • D’Vone McClure and Grant Morgan made up the second team linebackers group, and true freshman Jalen Catalon again played free safety. I asked Morris if Catalon, who saw the field for a couple of snaps last Saturday, would be a guy who will see his playing time extended and he said, “Yes.” Micahh Smith is still working at second team Nickel and Britto Tutt was back at the corner previously occupied by LaDarrius Bishop.

  • Arkansas’ offensive captain this weekend will be running back Devwah Whaley, who is a native of Beaumont, Texas. The team’s permanent captains are TJ Smith, De’Jon Harris and Sosa Agim.

  • Morris was asked about what San Jose State quarterback Josh Love said in regards to Arkansas’ safeties tipping off the defense’s next move. Here is his quote:

“Well, as a quarterback you’re always keying the body demeanor of a safety. Obviously he had a great beat on our safeties. I think he did some underneath stuff, too. But yeah, you always teach your quarterbacks to check the safeties body demeanor and stance and all that.”

  • Morris said defensive coordinator John Chavis will coach from the booth this weekend at AT&T Stadium. The staff is wanting to change some things up, and Morris said this will give Chavis the opportunity to have a bird’s eye view, make adjustments when needed and communicate those to the field.

  • Starkel has responded in a positive way this week, Morris added. He said his quarterback came back in on Sunday and got back to work. He is not going to allow any player to walk around with his head down. “You walk around here with your head down, you’re going to walk out of here. … There’s nobody feeling sorry for anybody in this program.”

Injuries

  • Receiver Jordan Jones (high ankle sprain) was back at practice Wednesday for the first time since early August. He wore a green no-contact jersey and a sleeve on his left leg. Morris said on Monday that Jones was day-to-day. He went through the receivers’ position drills and appeared a bit gimpy, which is expected. I don’t see him factoring into Saturday’s game.

  • Treylon Burks was present at today’s workout, too. He returned Tuesday after missing Saturday’s game. Morris said Burks will assume the team’s punt return duties against the Aggies. Nathan Parodi filled in for Burks against San Jose State. Trey Knox is also expected to play Saturday. He has been battling a hip injury since Ole Miss. He was not at practice Tuesday or Wednesday.

Absences

WR Trey Knox (hip)
WR De’Vion Warren (concussion protocol)
RB Chase Hayden (concussion protocol)
WR Daulton Hyatt
DE Dorian Gerald (strained artery in neck; out for season)
WR Deon Stewart (ACL; out for season)
OL Noah Gatlin (ACL; out for season)