Finding Leaders

Arkansas is going through a learning curve this spring where leadership is concerned.

Tramain Thomas isn't the rah-rah type on the practice field. He's more about sticking to his business. But he knows it's time for him to step forward as a leader for the 2012 Arkansas football team.

"I'm more a guy who does it by example," he said after Friday's workout. "But I'm trying to do it more. I'm trying to speak my mind more and more. I know that's something I'm supposed to do."

The senior free safety understands that the leadership has to change from one season to the next.

"We lost some leaders from last year," he said. "Ryan (Mallett) and DeMarcus (Love) are gone and they were a big part of what we had as leaders. I think we know that we are going to have some new captains.

"That's why this spring is a learning curve. We are finding out who our captains are going to be, who is going to lead. We're going to have some new leaders and that's part of what's going on."

There are also some new starters on the defense, despite a lot of experience returning. Thomas sees solid play at strong safety beside him in the secondary with sophomore Eric Bennett.

"Eric's been real good," Thomas said. "He's picked up the playbook real well. It was a good transition from corner to safety."

Thomas has made some plays, most notably a nifty interception at the pylon on a deep ball in Saturday's scrimmage. But he's also given up some plays. He's been outlegged down the middle at times. He didn't make excuses, but when asked about his health, Thomas noted, "I've been frustrated. I've had a hamstring that has bothered me. I want to practice hard but there are times that I've had trouble getting there."

The Hogs will scrimmage Saturday morning. Thomas said the goal is simple.

"We had a good defensive day last Saturday," he said. "We want to put another one with that. We want to fly around and not give up the big plays. We want to give great effort."

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