The Razorbacks had their shortest practice of the summer, lasting under two hours.
Tenarius Wright wore a yellow, "no contact" jersey for the second day in a row and his status for tomorrow's scrimmage is uncertain. Alonzo Highsmith also remained sidelined because of injury and Kiero Small rejoined the offense on Friday, so the Arkansas defense depended upon youthful linebackers as the coaching staff continued to emphasize the need to be able to stop the run.
"We like our freshman, we really do. The problem is, they're freshman," Arkansas linebacker coach Taver Johnson said. "There's a lot going on and it's happening fast, but they're really, really trying. They come to work every day and they're learning what toughness is. From an effort standpoint, I'm pleased with them.
"Otha (Peters) and A.J. (Turner) are both really smart guys, but the game moves a lot faster than they're used to. The things they are seeing are right, but now they have to trust it and go full speed. That's the only dilemma we're working through right now, but once they figure that out, we'll see a big difference."
Junior linebacker Jarrett Lake took his share of snaps at the "star" linebacker or nickelback position that safety Ross Rasner will be utilized at this season.
"Jarrett is extremely athletic, so we wanted to find a place where he didn't have to worry about trying to keep weight on and things like that," Arkansas linebacker coach Taver Johnson said. "We just want him to be natural and that looks like a natural position for him."
In the Razorbacks' base, 4-3 defense, Matt Marshall has taken the role of the "sam" linebacker position and Johnson said he has been impressed with the fifth-year senior.
"Matt's doing a good job," Johnson said. "We have to keep progressing with him, being a senior and things like that. His attitude is tremendous and now we just have to get him out there and get everything done that we're asking him to do."
Offensively, Mekale McKay continued to make impressive catches. Whether jump ball situations or diving catches, McKay can make them.
Brandon Mitchell further proved his desire to help the team however he can as he continued to spend his practice time away from the quarterback position. Not only was he catching passes from Tyler Wilson and Brandon Allen on Friday, but he also took the field with the punt team.
"I enjoy going out being able to make tackles and even blocking for the guys that are going to be back there like Kellybrew, Keante Minor and even Nate Holmes," Mitchell said. "I wish I could have been back there to block for Joe Adams last year. I just like experiences like that. Even if I want to coach one day, it just helps me learn every position and be able to coach every aspect of the game."
"Whatever the coaches think will help the team win, I'll do it."