Reggie Herring decided to play to the crowd when a penalty went against his defense Saturday in the Hogs' scrimmqage before around 1,500 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The defense was on the east sideline in front of where fans were positioned for the scrimmage. There was a play ruled to be pass interference by veteran SEC official Mike New midway through the scrimmage that Herring thought was wrong.
The play was a deep slant with cornerback Darius Vinnett providing the coverage for the defense. Vinnett bumped the receiver when he made his break, but there was no more contact until after the ball arrived as Vinnett reached around for a breakup.
Both Herring and cornerback coach Bobby Allen went crazy over the call, with Herring running 10 yards onto the field to voice his displeasure and applaud the work of his cornerback. Eventually, Herring, who was on the field at that point, turned to the East Stands and motioned them to voice their opinion and made a face to help them decide. The fans roared and booed.
"I was trying to have some fun with the referee on that one," Herring said. "You don't get to have too much fun when the season begins so I did it today.
"I thought the (referee) who saw everything didn't call it and the (referee) who couldn't see it called it. I won't (protest) during the season. I'll let Coach (Houston) Nutt do everything."
Vinnett didn't think it was interference.
"I thought there was a bump early, but they usually give you a bump," Vinnett said. "I got the ball clean on the reach around. That wouldn't have been called in a game. A clean play. Coach Herring seemed to like it. We are just trying to make him happy."
Vinnett said he knows that is the only thing he has to worry about right now, pleasing the defensive coordinator. He hasn't had to don a pink jersey this spring, a sign that defenders are loafing.
"If you get to the locker room for practice and your jersey isn't hanging there, you know you are going to get a pink one," Vinnett said. "That means you are going to be the laughing stock of the locker room. My goal is to not wear one of those this spring."
Vinnett had an interception and a 24-yard return on Saturday to highlight what he thought was "an okay day. I was just trying to get my assignments down. This defense is a little different and we are still adjusting. We are trying to fly around and get our checks down."
What does he think of Herring?
"He's changed our attitude around, that's for sure," Vinnett said. "He's put a lot of stuff in, but more than anything it's about flying around and playing hard. It's been good. The pink jersey thing was funny at first, but if you got one, it wasn't funny anymore. He's put it in our mind that we can be good, but we have to play harder to become good. We are still trying to get the playbook down. But we are getting there."
Reggie Herring sends in a play for the defense.
Photo by Clay Henry
Herring Messes with Ref
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