It's only been five practices, but Dan Enos was sure enough Wednesday afternoon to answer questions about the prospects of Dominique Reed's ability to be good in the SEC.
"I know he's going to develop a lot from game one to 12, and even more after a winter in the weight program and another spring," Enos said when questions were asked about Reed, the junior college transfer at wide receiver.
"I know this, he's got a very high ceiling. He's only been out there for five practices with us and already he's making explosive plays. He's had a couple of big plays already that few guys can make. He's gotta be consistent. We just got him here, but he's shown already that he can be a very good player."
The Arkansas football team hit the NCAA slot where two-a-days are allowed, but the team only had a walk through Wednesday morning before a fully padded practice under the lights Wednesday night.
Enos said there have been no problems getting enough work from the squad.
"The culture of working is here," he said. "We've gotten our work. Coach Bielema has created that culture. We've had long practices and gotten a lot of things done. Not once have we had a player complain. That's a credit to what Coach Bielema has built here."
Wide receiver coach Michael Smith is excited about Reed. And, there are several more that have flashed in the early practices. Smith has seen enough to think that Enos, the new offensive coordinator, will be calling more offensive sets with three wide receivers.
"We've got great tight ends," Smith said. "You know that Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle are going to be out there a lot. It's hard to sit them down. But we will be calling for 21 and 22 sets and that's with more wide outs."
Reed is part of that evolution of the move to more wideouts in the sets.
"Dominique has done very well," Smith said. "I've been proud to be around him the last two months. He's a football junkie and he likes the game. He's putting himself in position to have a great opportunity. He'll play a lot of football."
Senior Keon Hatcher is the bell cow. He'll be in the lineup. But there are more options than just Hatcher and Reed.
"We will play our best players," Smith said. "Keon leads the way. But I love my room. I think we will have five or six play. We are headed that direction. We've really improved. Jared Cornelius has really improved since last year. People forget he was a freshman last year, because he was there in the spring. But he's much better.
"I see some of the other young players improving. That's why I say we will play five or six."
Smith has been pleased with all areas with redshirt freshman Jo Jo Robinson. Sometimes iffy off the field and in the doghouse of head coach Bret Bielema, it seems Robinson is more on a good path now.
"Off the field, Jo Jo has been great," Smith said. "Maybe it's a little easier because school hasn't started. There will be more distractions for him soon.
"But right now, on the field, he's lighting it up. The guy has impressed in camp. He's getting open, he's catching the ball and he's doing what we wanted out of him when we brought him to campus. He's matured and maybe he's just getting to be a man."
There are plenty of men in the offensive line. Sam Pittman, the veteran line coach, keeps finding more pieces to the puzzle. The starting five has been solid all camp and now he's beginning to see depth stepping up. Zach Rogers is solid at backup center with guard Frank Ragnow also able to step over at center.
"We know we have three at center," Pittman said. "We are trying to find players at the other positions. We'd like to find another guard and another tackle. I think we are in the process of getting that done.
"I like Johnny Gibson and Colton Jackson at left tackle. Gibson has really had a good first five camps. He's been a little bit of a surprise. Well, I'm not surprised that he's a good player, but I've been surprised at how physical he can be. He's really been physical."
Gibson is a redshirt freshman from Dumas. He's been a pleasant development from the walk-on ranks.
Enos loves what he sees of the O-line. He said he wasn't aware of the plans to put the starting group on the cover of the media guide and didn't know about it until one arrived on his desk a few weeks ago.
"Pretty cool," Enos said. "Deserving. I've always thought the whole team generally takes on the personality of the offensive line. I think this group is very selfless and works well together. If our entire team takes on the attack that they have, then it's going to be good.
"I do believe this team is no different than others. I see this offensive line as very cohesive. I credit Coach Pittman. He's got a lot of really good young players.
"Offensive line is like a quarterback, it needs the most time to develop. But it's a talented young group with guys like Josh Allen, Jalen Merrick and Zach Rogers. I see a lot of improvement."
Running backs coach Jemal Singleton loves the depth in his meeting room.
"We've got two really good leaders in Jonathan Williams and Kody Walker," Singleton said. "Plus, Alex Collins has really done well. He's maintained his endurance through five workouts."
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