Complexity at Tight End

Austin Tate's injury has put pressure on a deep tight end position because of the complexity of the formations and needs.

How many ways can Arkansas utilize the tight end in 2013? Even without Austin Tate, the jack of all trades out of Barry Lunney's group, it's going to be multiple.

Lunney, the new assistant coach in charge of tight ends, is thankful he has a deep group because there are three tight end positions and some of the sets require two at the same type tight end position.

Tate is out five to six weeks with shoulder surgery, forcing freshman Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle to step up. It's also forced sophomore Alex Voelzke to continue to earn the scholarship awarded last week.

"After practice today, Coach Lunney said we all had to learn more positions," Voelzke said. "There may be some plays that we have a formation with four tight ends. We have a lot with three in the game. We've done a lot of that."

The positions are similar, but Voelzke -- 6-6, 250 out of Longview, Texas -- said there are nuances to all of them.

"One is like a fullback, another is on the line and another is a swing guy like a receiver," Voelzke said. "All the positions may swing back into the formation and block on the back side. There are all different levels.

"Several of us are learning the slot or the flex position. Sprinkle, Henry and me area all spending a lot of time with it."

Voelezke said he was surprised at the team meeting last week when he got his scholarship.

"I didn't know it was coming," he said. "I found out at the same time everyone else when Coach Bielema announced it in front of the team. It was a great honor to see that your hard work paid off."

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