Arkansas redshirt freshman De'Andre Coley admits he is enjoying spring practice far more than he did last fall's workouts.
That's because unlike last year when Coley (6-1, 198) was redshirting he knows he now is vying for playing time and maybe even a starting spot.
"It really has me motivated and working hard," Coley said. "I look forward to getting out there every day, learning more and just getting after it every practice."
Coley came in at 170 pounds and is now at 198 and hopefully headed for 205 by the time Arkansas opens it season at Auburn on August 30.
"I hope to be up to 205 by the time our games start," Coley said. "I feel bigger, stronger and faster and really like to hit people now that I have something to put behind me."
Coley was one of the names mentioned last fall as promising redshirts by Razorback head coach Bret Bielema and former defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
He was somewhat unheralded out of Miami Northwestern, but Arkansas assistant Randy Shannon saw potential in a young man that had 68 tackles, six sacks, one interception and 12 pass break ups his senior season.
"I hated being redshirted at first, but then I cam to understand how much better I was going to be when I took the field because of it," Coley said. "But it took some getting used to because was always use to playing and certainly not use to standing on the sidelines watching others."
Coley has been running second-team along with Dayveon McKinney at safety as seniors Rohan Gaines and Tiquention Coleman have run with the first team.
But all are even with new defensive coordinator Robb Smith.
"It's a fresh start," Coley said. "Everybody is equal this spring."
Smith mentioned Coley after the Razorbacks completed their third spring practice last Thursday.
"De'Andre Coley, another young one, is learning the system and is fish out of water some times, but you also see him do some nice things," Smith said.
Arkansas is on spring break this week and will resume workouts next Tuesday.
"I can't wait to get back at it," Coley said. "I can see playing time in front of me now and that does a lot to get you going. I am just going to work as hard as I can these last 12 practices to get myself in position to play."
It's Coley's Time
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