Photographs by David Gottschalk
Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, right, works with quarterback Cole Kelley during practice Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks put in a few energetic periods of live tackling, their first of training camp, in practice No. 5 on Wednesday on their outside fields.
"Man, there's nothing like putting the pads back on," tight end Cheyenne O'Grady said. "You get to go back out and display your physicality and that's like the best part of football. We didn't even like break today because everyone had so much energy and everyone was so excited."
Said linebacker Grant Morgan: "We went into halftime still pumped up. Coach [Chad] Morris cut out halftime because we all still had energy. So he said, 'Enough of halftime, let's keep going.' "
Morgan said the offense made more plays than the defense during two live-tackling periods.
"The defense has got to step up," he said. "They moved the ball on us a little bit."
The first day of full-pad work included a raucous "Razorback" drill, which involves one-on-one battles with the rest of the team surrounding the combatants.
"When we get in the pads, the energy always goes up a little bit," nickel back D'Vone McClure said. "It was fun, and I thought we were flying around a little bit and everybody had that excitement. That's what you want to see the first day in pads."
Running back Chase Hayden, who is coming back from a foot injury that knocked him out for the year in week 7, said he was not involved in the live tackling work.
"Coach [Morris] likes to take care of different guys on different days," Hayden said. "That's how it was divided up today."
Hayden said Jared Cornelius caught a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone, and La'Michael Pettway grabbed a scoring pass in the corner during goal-line work.
On the defensive side, end Jamario Bell punched the ball away from an undisclosed ball carrier.
Defensive tackle Armon Watts said he was among the defenders who got in good pops during the heavy hitting.
"A lot of defensive guys, with the stuff coach [John] Chavis is putting in to make a lot of plays for everybody on the field," Watts said. "I know a lot of guys were excited to put pads on and make some noise. There was a lot of competition, so I think it went good."
Coach Chad Morris mentioned Hjalte Froholdt would get some cross-training at center, and the senior did for the first time during the periods open to the media Wednesday.
Froholdt, who has started 25 consecutive games at left guard for the University of Arkansas, flip-flopped with Shane Clenin, who had been working with the starters at center because Dylan Hays is sitting out due to a back injury.
Cross-training has taken on added urgency with several offensive linemen dealing with injuries. There were 11 healthy offensive linemen during Wednesday's work.
"We need to make sure people can play different positions and ... everybody can just go out there and do the job that gets assigned to them," senior guard Johnny Gibson said. "Like they say, football is a 100 percent injury rate sport. It's just going to be a part of the sport. So whenever that happens, we just have to make sure the next man can go out there and handle the job."
Gibson, who has worked primarily at right guard, took snaps at right tackle Wednesday.
Among the players in yellow jerseys who were held out of action Wednesday were offensive linemen Colton Jackson and Tyler Hall; defensive linemen Briston Guidry and Billy Ferrell; and receiver Deon Stewart. Players in green, limited-contact jerseys were defensive tackle Austin Capps and offensive lineman Dylan Hays.
Of course defensive back D'Vone McClure, the oldest Razorback at age 24, had to be given a nickname based on his seniority.
"Granddaddy Pluck," said McClure, smiling and explaining. "I used to watch Looney Tunes when I was younger. Plucky the duck would go to the bathroom and say, 'Water go down the hole.' I would always say that when I was younger, the same thing.
"My aunt just gave me that name 'Plucky' and it stuck. Granddaddy Pluck comes from Santos."
Senior safety Santos Ramirez is one of the elder statesman of the team.
McClure and sixth-year defensive back Kevin Richardson, who is out for an extended period after foot surgery, are both graduates of Jacksonville High School.
"He's coming in here and working hard on his recovery," McClure said of Richardson. "I think everything happens for a reason. We're here to put on for the city, so we're going to do what we've got to do."
Quarterback Ty Storey will wear an SEC graduate patch on his jersey this season.
Storey, a redshirt junior, completed his kinesiology degree in May and is now working on a master's degree in sports management rather than just taking enough classes to maintain his eligibility.
"My mom definitely was on me getting into a master's program," Storey said.
Dark alley dude
Defensive tackles coach John Scott said the return of Austin Capps, who missed spring work after hernia surgery, will be of great value to his unit.
"Austin's the type of guy if I had to go into a street fight or a bar fight, out of the room I'm taking Austin Capps," Scott said. "He's just a tough, strong, gritty kid."
Capps is running at second-team left-side defensive tackle behind Armon Watts and with Isaiah Nichols also getting work. On the right side, T.J. Smith and Jonathan Marshall have been the top two guys. Briston Guidry and freshman Billy Ferrell have been slowed while rehabbing injuries.
• For the second day in a row, freshman Connor Noland ran the third "rack" among the quarterbacks in an early, fast-speed, move-the-ball sequence behind Ty Storey and Cole Kelley.
• Former longtime Arkansas assistant coach Louis Campbell attended practice, shaking hands and chatting with several of the older media members.
Sports on 08/09/2018
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