Hatcher Steps Forward This Spring

It'e been his attention to details that has helped Arkansas wide receiver Keon Hatcher (6-2, 210) make a move this spring as he pushes toward having a breakout junior season.

Earlier this spring, Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith took time to brag about junior-to-be wide receiver Keon Hatcher's attention to details.

Razorback starting quarterback Brandon Allen recently talked about Hatcher (6-2, 210) being in the right place at the right time and catching anything close.r-to-be wide receiver Keon Hatcher's attention to details.

Hatcher, Arkansas' leading returning wideout with 27 catches for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns, showed that off during Tuesday's practice – especially during a two-minute drill in which he was Allen's favorite target.

"It is so much stuff," Hatcher said about the attention to details. "Lining up my splits, being one yard from the hash on the route, being two yards from the sideline on the route. It is just the smallest things that you wouldn't think make a difference, but they not only make a difference, they make a huge difference.

"There are so many little mental things that I have learned along the way and I feel like I am becoming a complete receiver who just doesn't try to get by on talent," Hatcher added.

Allen praised Hatcher – the former Owasso, Okla., standout who had 100 catches for 1,620 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior and chose Arkansas over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State - for his improvement this spring.

"He had taken such a huge jump in just about every area I can think of," Allen said. "I have so much faith in him now in terms of him reading things right and being in the right spot. I can throw the ball with confidence knowing that when he comes out of his route, he is going to be right there I am throwing the ball and that we are on the same page.

"That's really big," Allen said. "At this level, I need to have faith in him that he is going to be where he needs to be and he needs to have faith in me that I am going to deliver the ball where he can catch it and make plays."

Hatcher, who started six games last season, played in the 10 he was healthy four and had 7 catches for 84 yards in the season finale at LSU, returned the praise to his starting quarterback.

"He is healthy and so much better this year," Hatcher said of Allen. "He has total control of this offense, he now controls the huddle and he'll jump anybody who is not where they are supposed to be. He is confident and you better

Hatcher and Allen will get a chance to show off his improvement during Saturday's Red-White game at 1 p.m.

"I am absolutely looking forward to it," Hatcher said. "It brings competitiveness out in each other and we are going to go out there and have fun, but everybody wants to win. It will be a good game."

Hatcher believes the Razorback fans will see an improved offense on the field Saturday.

"Camp has gone good," Hatcher said. "From last year's spring camp, it has been a huge step for me. I feel better about the offense and the players knowing what we are doing out there, knowing all the nuances of the offense and just knowing what is going on."





Keon Hatcher had 7 catches for 84 yards in Arkansas' season finale at LSU.


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