Ellis Now In Charge

As Arkansas prepares to start spring practices back up on Tuesday with its fourth of 15 workouts, Arkansas middle linebacker Brooks Ellis talks about how he is feeling more comfortable and confident after starting the last four games last season and playing in all 12.

Arkansas middle linebacker Brooks Ellis was thrown into the fire last season as a true freshman and because of that, he expects to take a giant step forward in 2014.

Ellis (6-2, 237), the former Fayetteville standout, played in all 12 games in 2013 and started the last four.

He racked up 33 tackles, including a team-leading 11 in the Razorbacks' game at Ole Miss.

"I feel so much more comfortable, even with the new scheme and the new coordinator," Ellis said. "We have had a lot more meeting time and Coach B emphasizes getting in the meeting room and watching film.

"That has been crucial these past three days – getting in the field room and know what we are doing," Ellis said before the Razorbacks took off for last week's spring break.

Ellis notes that the two biggest adjustments from high school to college were the speed and knowledge of the game.

"Really just the speed of things," Ellis said. "You have got to know what you are doing because if you don't you will get behind and you'll lose the play. You have got to be on top of things."

Ellis came into camp last fall and 230, but is now up to 237 under the tutelage of Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.

"I have put on a few pounds," Ellis said. "I am up to 237 and trying to get up to 240. The off-season has been great. I have gotten stronger in my legs and my base. That is what Coach Herb focuses on –base and the core."

Ellis and junior-to-be Otha Peters are the two linebackers working in the middle right now.

"Otha is behind me and we are really competing in that spot," Ellis said. "I can't be complacent. I have got to keep working."

One of the new linebackers this spring is former safety Alex Brignoni, Ellis' old teammate at Fayetteville who redshirted last season due to an injury.

"This was his first day actually doing some things at linebacker," Ellis said. "We have just been doing pass skel the past few days…He is looking good and I can't wait to see what he does."

Brooks Ellis

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