Team speed?

I know ccm wants and needs more team speed with this last class, where has our team speed improved? I would imagine wr and defensive backfield might have improved but I have no clue. Anyone in the know?

DLine on the edges with all the quick DE’s recruited.

The bar was low, I’d say we definitely have improved team speed.

Bielema built the slowest roster in the SEC, and I’d go as far to say one of the slowest rosters in P5.

Tuesday, to someone standing beside me watching practice, I said, “It looks like they finally have a bunch of dudes at receiver.” Could it take time for them to all figure it out when it matters? Yes. But speed isn’t going to be an issue there, I don’t think. Shamar Nash carried the ball during Razorback Drill on Tuesday and scored. Several people around me commented on his quickness and how shifty he is.

As Jimbeau77 alluded to, the young defensive linemen have stood out to the staff so far. Mataio Soli is probably the speediest guy on the edge. His high school coach told me he believes he’ll see Soli play on Sundays in 3-4 years, and edge quickness is a big reason why. I think the coaches have certainly landed guys at multiple positions the last 2 years who help with team speed. That said, there has to be carryover from practice.

Trey Knox isn’t a 4.4 guy. But he’s fast enough. Shamar Nash is pretty speedy. What I see is that they both have GREAT hands.

The addition of Soli and Williams at defensive end is definitely a speed upgrade. Now, they are little. Both need to gain weight. Williams has gained some since his arrival, but he’s not a big guy. Both of these will probably play at no more than 250, maybe 245. They aren’t going to be big dudes. What they are going to bring is quickness and the ability to wiggle free and burst to the QB, or run down someone on the boundary.

I think the DBs in the last two classes are faster. That’s where I’ve noticed speed issues in the last few teams.

The area that still needs to take a jump in speed is at inside linebacker. Dre Greenlaw was the fastest in that group the last few years. Unfortunately, he missed a lot of games with injuries. When he wasn’t on the field, I saw a drop in closing speed. It looks like Bumper Pool is a bit faster this year than what I saw last spring. Now, he was battling mono last spring and might have never been at full burst.

In comparison to other sec teams , how would we rank on speed? Still bottom quartile? I know we have a lot More recruiting to do. Might take 2 or 3 more classes to get it where it needs to be.

Soli’s high school tape reminded me of Billy Ray Smith Jr. as a freshman or soph. Smith was never a big bulky guy(played LB in the pros) but he was just too fast and quick for college DTs and even TEs to handle.

Soli is narrow in the lower body. But man is he quick. I saw a drill early in the week where he did remind me of Billy Ray Smith. Very low to the ground and slithery like a snake. And that’s what Billy Ray Smith did. Billy Ray did play inside and in a four-point stance some in college. I saw Soli do this Monday and it was like a snake uncoiling, a bad, bad water moccasin. Have you ever seen a cotton mouth attack. To me, they are the meanest snake in the woods. Copperheads and rattlesnakes don’t seem to be as mean as a cottonmouth. Those dudes will chase you, and they are quick.

Those cottonmouth snakes like to curl up in a lunch sack too. Real world experience. They will chase at a person instead of run from them, nasty critters.

Clay you are correct about the cotton mouths & would love to have players with that type of aggression. However those snakes put off a profound smell when disturbed also, I guess that could be a plus to for a defensive football player to, lol.

Had cottonmouths in my boat a couple of times. Once on Bayou LaGrue and once on Lake Chicot. I was fortunate in that they wanted out of the boat as much as I did! Glad we have some players that make Clay think of cottonmouths!

I lived in Meadowcliff in Southwest Little Rock in my early years. We moved to Fair Park when I was in the third grade. Our backyard was above Fourche Creek. My dad told us not to play on the other side of the fence down by the creek, but I loved going down there, crossing the creek in my tennis shoes and shorts. Not deep water in the summertime. I was down there by myself one time (maybe at about age 8) and was thigh deep in water and cottonmouths started coming off the bank at me, from two sides. I got to moving pretty fast and got out of there and think I went back over the fence without touching anything. The most scared I’d ever been. My dad saw me coming up the hill through the backyard. He said, “You look like you were being chased by a cottonmouth!” He was joking. I told him he was right. He thought that was pretty funny.

Wow - if that had been me water would not have been the only liquid in the creek! Yikes!!

I was adjusting a spill in a rice field in the mid 80’s, as I stuck my arm under it, a cottonmouth came swimming out, rubbing my arm. I took about 5 steps to cover the 20 yards back to my truck. The spill stayed down until the next day when I came back with a shovel and a pistol. I got to where I could smell them from 20 yards, I also started letting the help water the rice, lol.

I grew up on a rice farm so I know that feeling well! No scare in the world quite like lifting a levee gate and having Mr. No-Shoulders waiting on you! I once stepped over a levee and looked down to see a dark colored snake wrapping around my leg - thankfully the head was pinned under my foot. Could have been a cottonmouth, could have been a fish moccasin. I don’t know, I didn’t stick around long enough to find out!

Wow thank God you lived to tell about it

Used to be fairly common (haven’t heard of as many lately) down here where the tree trunks leaned into the bayou (lake) for cottonmouths to climb up in the leaning tree and fall into boats that got too close. Know of two different cases in years gone by where the folks had a pistol with them and in a panic shot a hole in the bottom of their boat (not joking!), but then all folks that go fishing out in the wild down here don’t necessarily have the most intelligence when in a panic. Lake Verret and the Atchafalaya Spillway used to be the worst for cottonmouths down here, but (though they are still quite common) they do not appear to be as common as in years gone by. Maybe the alligators ate a bunch of them?

I know some folks that have duck camps next to the White River National Refuge with lots of cottonmouths. They keep .410 shotgun just to ride the levees and take out the snakes in the fall and spring. Pretty easy to kill 50 in one sunny day. You think you put a dent in the snake population. Then, the next day you kill another 50. And, another 50 the next day. I don’t think it even puts a dent in them. It’s a sight that makes you always look when you step into a duck blind in the dark. I make sure to shine my flashlight in all the corners. I’m not going to sit down until I’m sure the blind is snake free. I know in the winter they don’t move too fast, but those things always scare me.

Hogs will put a dent in your snake population. Problem is they put a dent in a lot of other populations as well.


I grew up fishing and hunting in the white river refuge and have so many memories of fishing with my grandfather in Merrisach lake where a cottonmouth would fall off trees and literally swim toward our boat and try to get in. I would be freaking out as a 10 year old and my grandfather would have a slight grin on his face and just calmly continue to troll the boat with his favorite wooden paddle. Then when I was about to jump out of the boat because the snake was so close, my grandfather would make a lightning quick move with the paddle and the snake was no more.

I must have seen my grandfather do that more than a dozen times in the 20 years we fished those lakes. I asked him when I was older what he would do if he missed and he said, “I’ve been fishing these lakes since I was 5 and haven’t missed one yet.” Enough said. One of the other things to love about Colorado, no cottonmouth.