Arkansas hit the field for the first day of spring practice. It went well, with players remarking about the energy that new offensive coordinator Dan Enos brought to the field.
"Coach Enos has got enthusiasm and he wants us to have fun," wide receiver Keon Hatcher said. "It's clear he wants to throw the ball around. That's what we did today. He brings energy to our offense. He's very energetic.
"He's an old quarterback. He wants to throw it. We see that. I watched film of his teams at Central Michigan. I know they threw it there and when he was at Michigan State they threw it. We are going to throw it and we are excited about that.
"Of course, we will put pads on in a couple of days. We'll run it then. We know we have two great running backs and a big offensive line so we are still going to run it plenty."
Running back Jonathan Williams noticed the changes in the passing game concepts.
"You see that right away," Williams said. "There are new route combinations. There are changes in the passing game. You also see that Coach Enos has a fire about him. He will get after guys.
"This is an exciting time all around the country. Everyone is excited to get out there for the first day, but we definitely have excitement. The way we ended the season, we wanted to get back out there and get going."
Sebastian Tretola isn't the biggest of the big O-line group. He said today that he's worked himself into about half of his old self.
"I'm at 322 and still going down," he said. "I really think I'll play bigger than I am not. But I'm taking it off and going to put it back with muscle. I got to get all of this (baby fat) stuff off first."
Told that Enos has plans for him as a pulling guard now that he's quicker and more agile, Tretola said he hasn't been called "a speed guy or puller in about 100 pounds. But I'm getting there. I'm going to keep losing so I can show off my six pack on the beach. I will take my shirt off, too."
Tretola marveled at the energetic Enos.
"I think we all are having fun," he said. "He does try to make it fun. He keeps us going."
Hatcher said the practice was fast paced despite breaking in some new terminology from Enos.
"It really hasn't been tough," Hatcher said. "It's really helped us be more simple and do more. I think most everyone learned the new things he brought to the table very easily. Most of it is the same. What he changed, was easy."
Hatcher likes the use of more wide receivers in the playbook. There definitely were some sets with three and four wideouts on Monday.
"Absolutely," Hatcher said. "We've done things like me between two tight ends in a tight set before, now we have three and four (wideouts) out there. He told us he was going to get us in space. I definitely like that. You want to get the ball in space so you can do more things, show your wiggle."
Enos has said there are also more pulling plays.
"Yes," Tretola said. "We have a couple of plays for me and Frank (Ragnow, the other guard) and you know Frank is pretty freaky with his speed. Frank and me want to be outside on people. We've got a couple of new pulling plays and some checks to pulls. I like this stuff."
Enos has talked about the ability of Brandon Allen to make plays with his feet. Hatcher knows Allen has more confidence in that area of his game after Enos has watched his tape.
"I think Brandon has some wiggle," Hatcher said. "More than most people think. He's got some athletic ability. I think we all know Brandon is capable of running.
"And, Brandon has been sharp with his passing. We were pretty sharp today for a first day. We were all excited to be out there.
"We are excited about spring and what this team can do. I know people were excited about the victory over Texas in the bowl game and the way we finished. But, to be honest, that wasn't anything as far as what we can do. We've got a lot more than that and we want to show that this year. We are off to a good start after today."
Hatcher praised sophomore Damon "Duwop" Mitchell, part of a young wide receiver group.
"Duwop showed that he knows it," Hatcher said. "He had a good day. He's one that can help us. I think we have some young ones capable of doing some things to help this offense. Duwop and JoJo Robinson can do some things in this offense. They are going to be able to show case what they can after the catch in space. Jared Cornelius will be able to do that, too. We are all excited about this passing game.
"But like I said, we've got other weapons. We have great running backs. We have great tight ends with Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle. I think people are going to like this offense.
"We looked good today. We looked good throwing the ball. We played fast and showed that we know this offense. It's a lot of what we've been doing. I think everyone was comfortable with what we were doing today, even with some of the new terminology.
"We tried to go as fast as possible, too. Coach Enos, he is about getting another play off. He's always pushing us to get going, run another one, faster, faster. We went pretty fast today. And we had a lot of fun. Coach Enos wants to make it fun and he did."
There was one surprise Monday. Allen, listed on the interview choices earlier in the day, was pulled from the list just before the players came to the interview room. Just to make sure no one speculated on an injury, a spokesman from the media relations office said Allen was in graduate school class every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Allen graduated in the fall. In fact, he was down to an internship last fall as his only class.
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