Arkansas' Young Players Getting Lots of Practice Work This Week

Arkansas coaches are using the bye week to get a lot of their younger players work in developmental practices.

One of the best things about a bye week during the college football season is that it gives the  coaches a chance to look at those redshirting or not playing many snaps.

Arkansas has been having what it calls developmental practices this week while resting up the regulars during its regular workouts.

Razorback offensive line coach Sam Pittman has seen some good work from guys up front.

“We had a nice little scrimmage out there today with all the young guys and I thought Josh Allen really stood out, Colton Jackson and Jalen Merrick,” Pittman said. “Those three guys seem to be playing pretty well and seem to be doing a nice job, at least today in the scrimmage.

“I think the future is there and they will be some talented guys that will be able to come in and help us in the future, but those three kind of stuck out especially and (center) Zach (Rogers) is already playing up (with the two-deep) and he played a little bit today, but not a whole lot.”

“…We got at least 25 plays with those guys and maybe more. It was bang, bang, bang, right in a row.”

Redshirt freshmen offensive linemen Johnny Gibson and Brian Wallace also saw some time.

“He (Wallace) is starting to get it,” Pittman said. “The only thing that has been holding him back is understanding the whole theme of everything and the fact that he is playing behind a good player.

“I am certainly not disappointed at all in him and I think he is really going to be a good player in the future and it might be the near future.”

Defensive line coach Rory Segrest also had some young ones getting reps in the scrimmage, including redshirt freshman Armon Watts.

Watts’ pressure on Alabama quarterback Jacob Coker led to an interception last Saturday.

“Armon is making some progress as well,” Segrest said. “He is a young guy and obviously got a lot of learning to do, but he is coming along. 

“I just have to keep him getting better. This week has been good for him to get out and get some extra individual time in and I see him getting better and better.

Segrest also mentioned true freshmen Hjalte Froholdt, Jamario Bell and T.J. Smith - the latter two that are redshirting.

“Armon and Hjalte, even though they are traveling now, Karl Rosseler…and you have guys like Jamario Bell and T.J. Smith - just a bunch of guys in there that we want to get a good look at, guys that we are expected to have a good future from.”

Segrest noted that you can see some rust from those guys who are not getting significant snaps.

“There were some ups and downs,” Segrest said. “You can tell those guys have been away the individual and the technique because they have been working more scout team and it kind of shows.

“We have got some high-motor guys and got after it a little bit. Just got to keep bringing them along.”

Secondary coach Clay Jennings has gotten to see more of his young player this week like safeties Nate Dalton and Willie Sykes and cornerback Ryan Pulley.

“Nate Dalton has had a great week,” Jennings said. “Willie has not had a chance to do as much of the contact work because of a couple of injuries, but has had a good week as far as some individual work and some skelly.

“The one young men that I think has a chance to really become better for us is Ryan Pulley and then a couple of guys that are traveling with us that are walks in Ryder Lucas and Reid Miller. Those two young men had a great week as well.

“It is great to see the older guys get out there and not support those guys, but whoop and holler and help those kids on the technical aspects.”

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