Hines noses ahead in cornerback race

Will Hines had to play last fall because of depth problems and injuries. This camp came down to earning a spot for the sophomore cornerback.

When Arkansas opens the season and the Bret Bielema era Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Reynolds Razorback Stadium, one of its starting cornerbacks is hoping to bring some "Ill Will" to the University of Louisiana.

Razorback sophomore Will Hines (6-1, 190) – whose nickname is Ill Will - has regained his starting spot and will be one of the Arkansas defenders trying to slow down Rajun' Cajun standout quarterback Terrance Broadway.

"We are all excited," Hines said. "We have a new coach. We really have a new everything, new facility. We are just all excited to go show what we can do."

Broadway passed for 2,842 yards and rushed for over 700 yards last season as the Louisiana offense set school records for points (461), first downs (268) and total offense (5,914 yards).

"He is a great quarterback and they have a very, very good offense, but we feel like we have a good defensive scheme and we are ready to go out and show our fans that we are going to be a very good defense this season," Hines said. "It's finally time to play."

Despite starting the last nine games last season and playing in all 12, Hines left spring drills as second-teamer with redshirt freshman Jared Collins taking over as the first-teamer opposite junior Tevin Mitchel.

"I had a bad spring," Hines said. "I was a little hurt, but that's no excuse. It was basically just all on me. I had to keep working hard to get my starting spot back. It was a good thing because it drove me in the summer to work harder and drove me in the fall to work harder as well. It has all worked out."

Hines, who had 24 tackles, four pass break ups one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery last season, pulled slightly ahead of Collins in the final two weeks of preason practice.

"It feels good and I just kept working hard," Hines said. "JC was working hard, too, and he should get some playing time. But it is just great to start again."

He's doing so because of better attention to detail and realizing his potential.

"I think that happened probably the first couple of days (of preseason practice)," Hines said. "I was breaking better because I did a lot of extra work in the summer. I realized that helped a lot and I was playing lower."

Arkansas will be starting a corner that is very loud and outgoing in Hines, opposite one is shy and reserved in Mitchel.

"Tevin is quiet and I am the complete opposite," Hines said. "We get along great, but we are really different."

Hines and the other starters are all on several special teams as Bielema loads up on them.

"He just takes it real serious," Hines said. "He wants the best players on everything. If you have your best players on special teams, you are going to have the best chance to win."

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