Thursday Grid Report, 11/13

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt announced a change in the backfield after Thursday's workout ... plus, three Hogs undergo surgery.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Cedric Cobbs would start at tailback on Saturday, ahead of DeCori Birmingham, the starter the last two weeks.

"Cedric is close to 100 percent now and should be by Saturday," Nutt said. "Cedric has practiced well this week and will start."

Birmingham missed practice Wednesday to take care of academic situations. Cobbs moved ahead of him then.

The Hogs practiced about 90 minutes Thursday, about 15 minutes longer than planned. Houston Nutt said the Hogs hit special teams a little harder than usual because of changes in the lineups after they lost Michael Robinson to a broken wrist last week.

Nutt said that three Razorbacks underwent surgeries this week, including Robinson. The outside linebacker had a screw inserted in his wrist. Also, quarterback Landon Leach had arthroscopic surgery on his passing shoulder. Brandon Holmes had reconstructive surgery on his knee.

"Landon's surgery went well," said Roy Wittke, the quarterback coach. "There wasn't as much damage as expected and it went really well. He'll have four months to rehab it. He'll miss the spring, but he'll have the summer and that wasn't for sure before the summer."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson was glad to have true freshman Robert Felton back at practice after missing the last two weeks with a knee injury.

"We were concerned about him because he'd been out for a little while, but he looked good this week," Markuson said. "It's a situation that you are glad to see him heal. He's a player that is getting better and needs the individual work. We keep our young offensive linemen through the early parts of each day and they get a lot of reps."

Markuson said he envisions Felton competing for a guard slot next year and suggested that Tony Ugoh might move back to left tackle when Bo Lacy graduates.

"I'm pleased with Tony, Zac Tubbs, Kyle Roper, Robert Felton and Gene Perry," Markuson said. "We've got some other young ones like Matt Gilbow, Nate Garner, Tyler Morgan and several others that are coming on, too. One of the most important things that is happening is that Tubbs is losing some weight. He still needs to drop about 25 more pounds and he knows it. That's the thing to watch right now. I think Tony Ugoh will be a fine left tackle. Tony has done some great things in practice and is going to be a fine player. Gene Perry has really come on of late. I feel good about him at right guard. I like our young offensive linemen and we will add some more at mid-term, I hope."


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