Arkansas had already lost the prolific pass-catching trio of Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Greg Childs to the NFL and Arkansas coach John L. Smith announced the three pass catchers facing a trial for felony burglary charges will not return this season.
"If you saw their names in the press guide, they would have a chance, but if you don't see it there, you won't see them out there. Not this season," Smith said. "There's always a possibility down the road depending on things, but I wouldn't expect any of those guys to be here."
Even with the departure of three receivers to the NFL and Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson, Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said he is satisfied with the receiving corps that he has in place.
The Razorbacks also signed several receivers in the off-season and the offensive coordinator that returned to Arkansas in December after two seasons at Illinois said they have some similarities to the freshman class he inherited as the coordinator and receivers coach in 2008.
"One thing that is exciting about this receiving class that has come in this summer and has been working on their own is that they have a chance to be a lot like the class that just left," Petrino said. "When Jarius, Joe, Chris Gragg and Greg Childs came in here they all played as true freshmen.
"Between (Keon) Hatcher and (D'Arthur) Cowan and Mekale McKay, that's a really good freshman crew."
Arkansas also signed Demetrius Wilson who has two years of eligibility after playing at Glendale Community College the last two seasons. The Arkansas coaching staff has said he could make an impact both as a wide receiver and returning punts this season.
"What (Demetrius) Wilson has is great speed," Petrino said. "You're hoping that he can make a guy miss and take it the distance because he does have that home run speed, so we're hoping that he will, but that's something we'll find out in live tackling. Going off his junior college tape and his track times, we know that he has the speed to do it."
Along with the players that are listed as wide receivers in the "press guide", Arkansas has other veteran players that may get a chance to split out this season. Ronnie Wingo has made a habit of catching touchdown passes on the wheel route as a Razorback and the Arkansas coaching staff said that Dennis Johnson and backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell will factor in at receiver as well.
"Brandon Mitchell will help us work at receiver," Petrino said. "He's worked at it and done some really good things and you may even see personnel groups where you have two running backs in the game and could see a Wingo or a Dennis Johnson lined up out there."
Smith originally confirmed Mitchell had been running routes and catching passes in voluntary workouts and would see time catching passes this season at the Razorback Scramble in Bella Vista on July 13. At Paradise Valley on Thursday, Petrino said Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and his backup were the masterminds behind the idea.
"Brandon and Tyler got together with each other and felt like Brandon is a great athlete and a leader and this is going to help us get another leader on the field," Petrino said. "They talked about it first and then Tyler talked to me about it and they've worked at it hard this summer on their own."
"Brandon will still meet with me in the quarterback room for meetings all the time. We always go over everything anyway and he's smart enough to where he'll understand the plays. Technique-wise, there will be times where he goes with Coach Cinkovich and there will be times he works with the quarterbacks. Meeting-wise, he can be in our meetings and I coached wide receivers for quite a while so he can get both what he needs to know at quarterback and at receiver covered."