Practice notes + observations - Aug. 12

  • Quarterbacks were again split into groups with Ben Hicks, John Stephen Jones and Jack Lindsey working together and Nick Starkel and KJ Jefferson in the other. While one group worked with tight ends, the other drilled with running backs.

While with the running backs, QBs handed the ball off and the back ran off tackle. Following the handoff, Chad Morris tossed a ball to quarterbacks, who then fired a pass to a staff member in the flat. From what I saw, Starkel’s ball was a bit sharper and more on point than Jefferson’s was.

Also watched Hicks’ group work on wheel routes and screens with the running backs. It’s an area that needs more attention. Didn’t see many balls leading the back inbounds and down the sideline. Saw a few drops by Trelon Smith and A’Montae Spivey, but thought the top three backs looked solid.

  • Arkansas worked on special teams for a full period today, specifically, it looked like, on knocking gunners off track in punt situations. Believe there were two groups working on just that on both the turf and natural grass field.

Injuries

Freshman tight end Hudson Henry and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Isaiah Nichols were both back at practice today after missing a couple of days last week. Nichols was in white, which is standard for defensive players. He appeared to be full go. Henry, however, was the lone player in a no-contact green jersey, but he did run routes and catch balls from the quarterbacks.

Offensive lineman Ricky Stromberg was back working with the OL today. Friday was the last practice open to the media for 20 minutes, and he was absent that day. By my count there were 17 healthy offensive linemen in Dustin Fry’s bunch. Defensive back Micahh Smith was back today as well.

Notable absences

DB Greg Brooks (unknown)

RB T.J. Hammonds (concussion, per team spokesperson)

DE Eric Gregory (left foot, out several weeks)

DL Nick Fulwider (unknown, also missed last Friday)

WR Daulton Hyatt (hamstring, according to Chad Morris)

OL Noah Gatlin (out, ACL)

Throwing to the backs in the wheel routes and screens – and just plain swing passes – is something the QBs did poorly last year. Yes, there were a few big plays, but not like you’d expect with the amount of blitzes that were coming. You hit that pass consistently, the blitzes stop like magic.

wheel route should not be a pass that hard to complete so I’m glad they are working on it just hope they can get it down b/c that’s a play that may only be open 1 time a game and we have to hit it.