The pieces to the puzzle continue to fall in place for the Arkansas offense. Just when everyone thought there was a void at fullback, Tyler Colquitt and Chris Jones have stepped forward. It's part of the balance that's emerging with the offense being installed by new coordinator Dan Enos.
An offense that lacked that lead blocker last year may have it now. And, there may be other pieces that make it tough to pack the box. Maybe those fullbacks don't see the linebackers do tight like the last two years. Maybe they are out in pass patterns more, like the rest of the offense, as designed by Enos.
"They are doing well," said Jemal Singleton, running backs coach. "Our fullbacks have improved. They are giving me what I want and now I just want to see more from them. They can run the ball, they can catch it and now I want to see them improve their leverage in blocking."
Colquitt has been the pleasant surprise of the running back groups, showing some ability to catch the ball in the flats. He's also gotten some turns at running back because of depth issues.
"He show us what he can do," Singleton said. "He's been very productive catching it in the flats. He's shown good things at running back, too. Tyler has caught it well. He's shown us some speed outside. He hasn't caught all of them, but he's caught a lot of them.
"It's been good competition at fullback between Tyler and Chris. You want that. You want to see that battle."
The real battle for Singleton is to slow down Jonathan Williams. The senior has been held out of all scrimmages. It's been tough to pull the first team back off the field in certain situations.
"He's charging ahead, challenging me to do things," Singleton said. "We just want to be smart with him. We've given him work in the Tuesday and Thursday practices, just not the scrimmages. And, the tough part, since he's not scrimmaging on Saturday, Jonathan wants to take more snaps on Tuesday and Thursday. We just have to watch it with him because he wants more."
Williams is comfortable with what he sees, even if less might mean less for the offense. He sees the diversification in the offense with some of the bells and whistles that offensive coordinator Dan Enos has added.
"I think what we are doing is going to make it very tough for the outside linebackers," Williams said. "They are going to have to make some decisions and we have some things to make them pay. Are they going to move outside to be in coverages? No, then we'll hurt them with the run game. Yes, then we have some run game plays for them. It's going to be tough to load the box against what we are doing.
"If people want to load the box on us, Brandon Allen will throw for 400 yards. I love it."
Quarterback Brandon Allen said, "We have some run game tags that make it tough on the defense, just some new things. We've got some things to help our running game."
Singleton said it's balance.
"Some of the things we are doing are similar to what we've done at some of the other places I've been at as far as offense," Singleton said. "Very similar. It will give us an advantage in the running game because of some combination things. We are definitely utilizing all of our tools."
Singleton has been delighted by the leadership in the running back room, starting with Williams and another senior, Kody Walker.
"We are fortunate to have that kind of leadership from Jonathan and Kody," Singleton said. "Kody is kind of a quiet guy, but he's really shown me some things this spring. Then, you have Jonathan, almost a coach out there. I can go to him and he's already done the self evaluation that you want. He's done it before I get there."
Enos loves the development in all areas. He said the rate of installation has been solid. He's also excited about what he sees in the passing game from Allen.
"He's picked things up quickly," Enos said. "We've moved at a crisp late. The details of the way we get to the second level in the passing game has come quickly. We have given them a big mixture of things and it's clear that they have picked it up.
"As far as Brandon, his arm has been live, his decisions quick and he understands the changes we've made. It's happened fast. What you see is confidence. He reads it quickly. He's fast and he's been good at the installs. I think a lot of it made sense to him.
"The part that's clear to me, we have good kids as well as good players. I think it's obvious that Bret (Bielema) has assembled good people here. The players are having fun and it's been a great time for me."
Just think, now the Hogs even have some fullbacks.
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