Hogs Begin Classes

The Arkansas head coach discusses some of the freshmen breakthroughs after Monday's conditioning run.

Arkansas spent the early part of the day getting used to classes, then concentrated on football in afternoon meetings before ending the day with a conditioning run.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said his staff spent the morning going to classes with the players, then watched film of Saturday's practice.

Nutt went over special team assignments with a small group of media (four) attending the afternoon workout, and will go over that here.

"We are starting to make some decisions on the freshmen," Nutt said. "We are still going to wait another day or so before getting a scout team situated, but we have some ideas."

Among the freshmen making strong bids to fit into the travel squad:

Tight end Mason Templeton -- "The best all-around tight end we've signed since I've been here," Nutt said. "He can run the deep routes and catch the ball. He needs a little more weight, but he will get that. He is going to be a factor this year. He's our third tight end and will play."

Punter Jacob Skinner -- "He's our punter," Nutt said. "He has the leg. He gets it off in 1.8 seconds. Last year, Richie Butler was 2.1 and 2.2. Jacob hits it quick and he puts it way up there and has distance. We love how he's hitting the ball right now."

Defensive linemen Jeremy Harrell and Keith Jackson, Jr. -- "Both of them have heart and give you effort," Nutt said. "You wish they wer a little bigger and maybe a little taller, but they play hard and will fight you. They are as tough as any we have seen as freshmen. They are pushing to get into that group of backups. They don't miss any workouts. They don't go to the injury tent. I love their heart."

Wideouts Willie Hordge and Chris Baker -- "They are going to figure in special teams and they are getting more and more involved in the wideout rotation," Nutt said. "They can sure give you a go route with that speed and we are trying to give them more each day. They are going to play."

Left tackle Matt Gilbow -- "He's next at left tackle and will play as he learns all of the plays and all of the checks. He's a good one."

Quarterbacks Robert Johnson and Landon Leach -- "They will travel," Nutt said. "We are hoping one of them will step up so we can leave Cedric Washington at quarterback. Right now we have to keep Cedric in the QB mix, but maybe that will change. He can really help us at WR with that speed."

There may be other freshmen that figure in the plans, like deep snapper Brent Goode. He's already snapping the ball faster and quicker than Chuck Nalley, the regular snapper on punts the last four years. Garrett Lewis seems to be inching ahead as the snapper for field goals and extra points. Lewis is a junior from Little Rock. Goode is a freshman from Fort Smith.

Nutt said the scrimmage had some good things, and then some disappointments.

"We thought our defense played very well, especially the front group with Jeb Huckeba, Scott Davenport, Elliott Harris and Justin Scott," Nutt said. "Caleb Miller and Clarke Moore were very good, too.

"In the secondary, we were always in the right spot with our first group, especially Tony Bua. He's solid at free safety. He hasn't been out of position one time this fall. He's been very good. Marvin Jackson was a highlight, too. He can really break on the ball and make plays with his quickness, speed and hands.

"Offensively, we have things to correct. Our quarterbacks missed some passes. Matt Jones missed a deep post. It was wide open. We've been hitting that pass, and we've got to do that. Ryan Sorahan missed a fade that was open. Got to hit that one. Our wideouts didn't finish all of their routes, or went the wrong way. That led to some interceptions when the ball was thrown correctly.

"We had some other good things like Desmond Sims at wolf outside linebacker. He graded out extremely high. He had his best practice."

One of the most interesting battles of fall camp continues to be at center where Dan Doughty is trying to hold off Kyle Roper.

"That's a dogfight and Dan may be looking over his shoulder to see Kyle coming after him," Nutt said. "They have both done well. You could probably play them both because they snap it about the same. They both have their strengths. All Kyle needs is a little more experience. Kyle is very, very good and it's making it tough on Dan right now. The thing that you like is that Jerry Reith could step out to help if we needed it at left tackle and Kyle could play that left guard slot in a second. Kyle knows guard and center."


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