LITTLE ROCK - Before the 616 prospects got their chance to impress both the University of Arkansas football staff as well as all but one of the rest of the football-playing colleges in the state Sunday night at War Memorial Stadium, Razorback head coach Bret Bielema updated the status of players on his current roster.
That included talking about the knee surgery of freshman Briston Guidry, the arrival of all but one of his incoming signees as well as cornerback Cornelius Floyd being back with the program and Josh Allen transferring out.
Guidry (6-3, 190), who shined as a prep at Metairie, La., Archbishop Rummel, had surgery last week upon his arrival to campus to clear up some damage in his knee.
“Briston had surgery,” Bielema said. “It was something that happened previously in high school. Really nothing major.
“…When a kid comes to campus and you are trying to establish a name and an identity, I am very conscientious about what kids do at the beginning…In one of my first meetings with them, I always tell them that your name is your name and you are going to build a reputation here that is dependent on you and what your actions are.
“It is the neat thing about going to college is that you get a chance to reinvent yourself.
“We thought about maybe giving him a chance (to work through it), but we also didn’t want him pulling out of drills because it was painful for him.”
Bielema noted that Guidry was not a happy patient.
“He was smiling when I saw him Friday and he wasn’t in a good mood, but it is the best thing for him right now,” Bielema said. “It was just a clean up knee surgery. Probably four weeks. He will be able to practice. Our goal is to have him back by mid-July and he’ll be able to roll back into things before then, but he should be able to be 100 percent.”
Guidry joins Austin Capps, Jonathan Marshall and McTelvin Agim - who enrolled in January - as the four defensive ends and tackles signed in the class.
“We signed three defensive lineman that were all over 290,” Bielema said. “I have never signed a defensive class like this between him, Sosa (Agim) and Jonathan Marshall and Austin Capps. They are all four guys over 290 pounds that are very, very athletic and gifted.’
All of Arkansas’ 2016 signees are now on campus with the exception of junior college cornerback Britto Tutt.
“We have everybody on campus except for one,” Bielema said. “Britto isn’t there yet, but he’ll be here for classes in July.”
Floyd had been removed from team activities when he became academically ineligible, but has attained what he needed via classes to become eligible again.
Smith, an offensive lineman as a true freshman last season and someone who had moved to the defensive line in the off-season, has transferred but Bielema did not want to identify the school as of yet.
Bielema also noted that he had helped wide receiver Kendrick Edwards to transfer to Arkansas State.