Hogs in search of pass catchers

Arkansas needs several receivers to step up with injuries to multiple pass catchers.

Following the Razorbacks' second fall scrimmage on Saturday, Bret Bielema announced Arkansas had lost senior wide receiver Demetrius Wilson to a season-ending ACL tear and will be without senior tight end Austin Tate on the field the next six to eight weeks.

Additionally, he mentioned wide receivers Javontee Herndon and Keon Hatcher missed the scrimmage. Herndon returned to the practice field Monday, however, and said his time missed was simply a "safety precaution."

"I was so happy to be back out there today," Herndon said. "I didn't miss that much, but being out there again was perfect."

Herndon, a senior wideout, said he saw some good things while he was on the sideline Saturday.



"We made a lot of good plays, but we definitely could have done a lot better," he said. "It was good to see some of the young receivers make plays out there. So that was good for them. We just got to keep moving and keep working."

Herndon specifically complimented two freshmen wide receivers for stepping up in the midst of injuries.

"Drew Morgan had a very good scrimmage," he said. "I liked what I saw from him. He's just a guy that will go out there and make plays. When his name is called, he has shown he can catch the ball, he's shown he can make plays after the run, so he is going to be one of those guys that knows his role.

"And then Melvinson (Hartfield), he just got here. He made a couple of good plays. He doesn't really know the offense that well yet, but once he gets accustomed to the offense, he'll be a good player. He has shown some great speed so far."

Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen was 16-for-17 in the Razorbacks' first fall scrimmage, but said he was not as pleased with his performance in Saturday's scrimmage, which was closed to the public and media.

"I had a couple of decisions where I questioned myself and where I went and I didn't make the right reads on a couple of plays and that is something that I am learning from," Allen said. "I'm doing my best not to make that same mistake again. And that just comes down to being 100 percent comfortable in the offense."

Allen said he is depending on some of his younger receivers to step up with the loss of two veteran pass catchers and a few others overcoming minor injuries.

"Yeah, we definitely have to have a few younger guys step up at receiver," he said. "Obviously losing a senior is not something we had planned, but things happen like that. It's adversity we just need to overcome. We have some people stepping up, we have some guys moving from other positions and people are getting out of their comfort zones from what they are playing at receiver."

Allen, like Herndon, complimented Morgan and Hartfield, but also credited redshirt freshman wideout Eric Hawkins with making big plays in the scrimmage. Hawkins is a speedster at wide receiver, having competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash in high school.

Brian Buehner, a reserve quarterback and holder in seasons past, moved to wide receiver last Friday with injuries at the position. Allen said Buehner's intelligence helped him fit into the role right away.

"He's really smart," Allen said. "Obviously, being a quarterback and moving to receiver, there is no lag when he moved out there because he already knew where to go, how to line up and he knew all of the routes. So that was big, just being able to throw him out there and him being the great athlete that he is and not losing a step really and not really having to train him to run receiver. So that was huge just for the fact that we didn't slow down at all when we put him out there."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories