State of the Hogs: Unfried

Arkansas offensive line has trim look as spring drills begin. Jason Peacock has been down on the farm.

The depth chart Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino provided Tuesday was a mother lode of information. There was plenty of heavy info.

The three-digit numbers for the offensive line were the most interesting. They weren't so heavy.

Check out the weights across the front in the two deep. The heaviest: Alvin Bailey at 312 pounds, the lightest Mitch Smothers at 296. Everyone else was in between, including Jason Peacock at 305.

I've heard Petrino explain the training table rules at a couple of Razorback Club stops in the last month. They have a place for those gaining weight called the Extra Table, then a place for those that get baked chicken and nothing fried called The Farm.

Peacock has done a major turn around. He probably played at over 330 pounds last year when he led the team in procedure penalties. He's now one of the most impressive athletes on the team at his current weight.

Petrino loves this offensive line, compared to where the team was last year when depth and experience were depleted.

"I think it's going to be fun and exciting to see," Petrino said. "Obviously we feel really good about Travis (Swanson) and Alvin (Bailey) back inside as starters.

"Tyler Deacon was our backup center last year and played one of the guard positions. He's really strong, very athletic, and it will be interesting to see how he does at that spot that Grant Cook started at last year.

"Obviously Mitch Smothers is going to compete for it and want to be the starter there, so the two of them will battle it out and see who gets to go. (Jason) Peacock is coming back at one tackle, and it will be good competition behind him with Grady Ollison and (David) Hurd playing there, and then at the other tackle position you'll have Brey Cook and Chris Stringer, and great competition there."

Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis said a decision was made after the bowl game to change the body fat of his group.

"We talked about it after the break," Klenakis said. "The strength and conditioning staff pushed them and the kids responded. We dropped body fat and pounds. The kids worked hard.

"We wanted leaner, quicker and stronger players." Quarterback Tyler Wilson has noticed a difference.

"We aren't carrying so much weight," he said. "I think the guys are more agile. It should help us in the screens, draws and also in our bootleg game. I think we can run better.

"The offensive line looked good today. We hit some draws and were out the gate with them today, some nice checks. They are quicker."

Peacock is a different player. Petrino said he made mistakes last year, but in his defense was just trying to "survive" in the offense.

"He's a tremendous athlete," Petrino said. "He didn't do everything right last year, but he's committed now and is a tremendous talent with great feet and a great punch."

Ollison, redshirt freshman, is one that is probably eating at the Extra table. He's listed third behind Peacock and Hurd and is still a lean 286. But Petrino loves Ollison's potential.

"He's got a chance to be a special, special player," Petrino said. "He's got a really good punch and he's very smart."

Eating right is smart. Those weight numbers aren't cooked and they sure aren't fried.

Alvin Bailey takes the field for the start of practice.

Jason Peacock prepares for practice.

Offensive linemen go through early drills Wednesday.

Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated

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