Razorbacks Ready To Rev Up For Summer

After meeting with team for the first time this summer on Friday morning, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema took part in the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Club Golf Tournament on Friday and talked to the media about an assortment of things - including linebacker Randy Ramsey not being eligible, freshmen arriving and quarterback Brandon Allen being invited to the Manning Passing Academy.

BELLA VISTA - During a team meeting on Friday morning, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema took time to introduce his newcomers and laud those already in the program who shined in the classroom.

That included 41 players who had over a 3.0 grade point average and four who had a perfect 4.0 - including starting linebacker Brooks Ellis and true freshman Hjalte Froholdt.

“We had 41 guys over a 3.0, which is absolutely amazing,” Bielema said, “so we called out those guys, talked about our summer schedule and we will hit the ground running next week - lifting and working with Herbs (Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert) as well as working on Hoganese so it will be a fun week next week.

…We were one one-hundredth from a (team gpa) 2.9 and we we at a 2.2 when I got here. To make that jump is absolutely amazing.”

But while wide receivers JoJo Robinson and Kendrick Edwards are back with the team, one player who won’t be around any longer is linebacker Randy Ramsey.

“Randy Ramsey is not with us now and I don’t think he will be with us,” Bielema said. “There are certain things that happen to him that took it out of my hands. It’s an NCAA deal and University of Arkansas guidelines that you have to pass a certain number of hours to get to where you get to be and obviously he didn’t make that.”

Cornerback Cornelius Floyd has to pass a course to be eligible next season. “Kendrick is back with us, JoJo is with us and Cornelius Floyd is in inter-session right now and if he takes care of what he is supposed to do then he should be back in good graces as well.”

Asked about how big it was to get the two receivers back, Bielema hedged his bet.

“If they are around for the end of the summer is going to be the key,” Bielema said. “They have zero tolerance. If they understand where they are and where they need to be, hopefully they will get to where we need to be.

“I am excited. I thought our wide receiver corp had as big an improvement as any group in the entire spring so we’ll see where they end up.”

Bielema noted that Ramsey had been headed the wrong way for awhile.

“The good news is that as we went along, we kind of cut bait with him in the fall,” Bielema said. “He wasn’t involved in our last few game preparations as well as the bowl game and in the spring we removed him a couple of weeks out and got reps with other guys.

“Sometimes you have just got to learn that you can help those that want to be helped and then make decisions and hopefully live with them.”

The meeting also allowed Bielema to introduce the new Razorbacks to the old ones.

“(Freshman wideout) LaMichael Pettway looks as good as they look,” Bielema said. “He stood up in the meeting this morning and I think kind of turn some eyes when I introduced all the freshmen.”

He expects all 24 players signed in the 2015 recruiting class to be on campus by July.

“We expect everyone that we signed to qualify,” Bielema said. “Really our biggest concerns are those already on campus.”

Cornerback Ryan Pulley and middle linebacker Kendrick Jackson were not able to make it for the first semester due to graduation and getting all the paper work through the NCAA Clearing House in time.

Wide receiver Dominique Reed, cornerback Nate Dalton and punter Blake Johnson are all expected to be here for the second session of summer school.

“Dominique Reed will be with us hopefully in the July (summer) session” Bielema said. “He should be good. It is just a matter of all dotted I's and crossed T's before it happens.”

Bielema had hinted after the Red-White game that he might add a player this summer to the recruiting class.

“We have one or two scholarships open,” Bielema said. “The way the NCAA rules work, I have got one right now, but I could add some during the summer that were un-recruited and stuff like that.

“We will continue to add good players. I wouldn’t say it has to be offense or defense. I do think if you could find one at linebacker or O-line, that would be a critical position, but I am really open to good players at any time.”

Bielema also noted that Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen had been invited to the Manning Passing Camp.

“He is actually going to be a part of the Manning Camp as well and that is pretty fun for him and kind of the significance of where he is at in the world college football.

“I am excited for him because he has got a lot of quality players around him. We have three quality tailbacks, a couple of tight ends and a good offensive line.

“As long as I have been around this game, that QB is obviously, very, very important, but the people that you put around him are equally important.

“And honestly, defensively we may not have a lot of high quality names, but I think we are just going to play really good football and that helps the quarterback.”

Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis was one of four Razorbacks to post a 4.0 grade point average this past semester.

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