Hogs Realigning Defensive Personnel

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas' leading tackler wasn't with the first team defense during Tuesday's practice.

As part of the personnel changes defensive coordinator Dave Wommack eluded to on Sunday, safety Lerinezo Robinson was replaced by junior college transfer Randy Kelley and John Johnson filled in at the husky position for John Jackson.

"I still believe in what we're doing, but we're looking at some more folks," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "Whether they start and all that, we don't know that yet. But we're just going by practice, what we see every day and we're trying to get better. Trying to correct mistakes at some critical times and that's the key."

Robinson leads the team with 51 tackles, but Wommack said Kelley is faster and more physical. Kelley was on the field for most of the second half of Saturday's 35-32 loss at South Carolina.

"We just like the way he's practicing and the way he plays hard," Wommack said. "Because he'll come and knock your butt off."

Kelley is a junior college transfer with two years of eligibility remaining after this season. He started in Vickiel Vaughn's spot at safety against Florida, before being burned on a couple of plays and quickly finding himself back on the second team.

"I'm just working hard because when you work hard, good things will come to you," Kelley said. "This time, if I do start, I will hold on to it like I should have done the first time."

As far as Jackson being demoted, Wommack said it was because of something he saw during film study of Saturday's loss.

"(Jackson) had one play there where he wasn't going full speed," Wommack said. "I know it was one play and you think that it can happen to anybody. But the one thing we can do is go full speed to the ball every single time and that's what we're going to do.

"If you don't, then we're going to move you down (the depth chart)."

Wommack noted that none of the changes are set in stone, but could be by the end of the week.

"Do they still have a chance to start Saturday? Absolutely," Wommack said. "But we'll determine that by the end of the week."

Still, Johnson clearly was excited about the opportunity. He's 25th on the team with seven tackles, mostly coming as a gunner on punt team.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time, so I'm prepared for it," Johnson said. "I've just got to stay mentally focused and go out there and execute and hopefully, I'll be the one."

The Club
Hogs defensive end Jeb Huckeba, who broke a bone in his right hand last week, practiced Tuesday with more of a mitten-type cast.

"It's actually a club now and it feels a whole lot better," Huckeba said. "In the South Carolina game, it was my decision, I just wanted to tape it up, put a hard piece right there and just try to use my hands like I have been.

"That was a mistake and I could hardly use it."

Huckeba said the club, which was put together by trainers Dean Weber and Eric Linson, should make things easier when the Hogs play Ole Miss on Saturday.

"I feel like this is allowing me to use both my hands now," Huckeba said. "It's going to be a deal where it's going to be a lot better than it was last Saturday.

"It's not perfect, but a broken bone is going to give you some pain so you've got to find a way to deal with it."

Coaching Clarification
Nutt called South Carolina coach Lou Holtz on Monday morning to clarify a statement he made following Saturday's game. Nutt had told reporters that the Gamecocks "were on the verge of quitting, even in the third quarter."

Nutt told Holtz that the comment was meant to encourage his team.

"When I heard about it I was surprised. But when he clarified it, I understand," Holtz told The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. "You always encourage, 'Hey, they're getting ready to go down. Hang in there. You've got them on the run.'

"That's what that was all about."

Nutt played quarterback one season under Holtz in 1977 before transferring to Oklahoma State. He later returned as a graduate assistant under Holtz.

Grid Bits
Cornerback Michael Coe, who did not play the past two games with multiple deep thigh bruises, said his injury actually regressed on Tuesday. He said the extra tightness likely was due to colder temperatures and he still plans to play on Saturday ... Arkansas' game at Mississippi State on Nov. 20 will not be televised and kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. ... Only two Razorbacks missed practice time Tuesday with injuries. They were tailback Dedrick Poole (hamstring) and receiver David Thompson (groin), who dressed out in shorts and shoulder pads only ... True freshman Cedric Logan, a receiver from Fayetteville, dressed for the first time in weeks since injuring his shoulder. He appeared to be fully recovered when he made a one-handed catch over Robinson.

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