Moore Makes Move To D-End

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas senior Clarke Moore, who has been slowed by injuries the past two seasons, said he could use a fresh start.

That's why the former linebacker is looking forward to the possibilities of playing defensive end next season.

Moore, who is limited to non-contact drills this spring after undergoing off-season knee surgery, has spent the past few days working with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker's group in practice. Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring moved the senior last Thursday in an ongoing search for playmakers at defensive end.

"It will help me go full speed every play and not have to worry about anything else," Moore said. "I think I can do it. I've got all the confidence in the world. I'm just taking it in stride and going about my life.

"I'm kind of excited about it. I'm excited for change I think I'll be all right."

Herring said one reason Moore is moving is because of depth at middle linebacker, where Pierre Brown and Sam Olajubutu have worked all spring. The Hogs also are bringing in two more middle linebackers in their 2005 recruiting class and have depth at every other linebacker position.

Herring believes Moore could help the defensive line because of his size (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) and experience (30 career games).

"He's coming off knee surgery, so it might be a blessing in disguise and find him a new place where he can find his niche on this football team," Herring said. "With two freshmen coming in at (middle) linebacker, it gets into a deal where it's like, 'Go to end and maybe go have a shot.

"We're doing it really to help him and help this football team."

Coach Houston Nutt said the new position should help Moore make up for speed he might've lost because of leg injuries. Moore was sidelined for seven games in 2003 after breaking his leg and had surgery to repair torn knee cartilage this winter.

"I'm always going to be a linebacker at heart," said Moore, who said the closest he's come to defensive end was a stint at tight end in high school. "But I'm just trying to get on the field and help the team out, whether it's tackle or D-end. As long as I'm on the field making plays, I'm willing to do what's best for this team."

Another One Down
Offensive line coach Mike Markuson's depleted group was trimmed to six scholarship players after junior Chase Pressley sustained a concussion Monday.

Pressley, who has been working with the first team at right guard in place of recently injured redshirt freshman Jonathan Luigs, hit his head on the ground during middle drills. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Pressley was taken to the hospital for a precautionary examination and will likely miss today's practice.

"We had a who's who (at right tackle)," Nutt said. "(Tyler) Morgan, (Robert) Felton, (Matt) Gilbow, we're just moving around anybody we have. (John) Moody, a walk-on. (Right guard is) a tough position."

Offensive linemen James Johnson (foot) and Luigs (lacerated and punctured calf) have missed time due to injuries this spring. Right tackle Zac Tubbs (ankle) is limited to non-contact drills and redshirt freshman tackle Cody Green (back) is sidelined. Also, left tackle Tony Ugoh is competing for Arkansas track team.

Hicks Hampered
Tight end Jared Hicks was limited to non-contact work, but returned to practice after missing Friday and Saturday because of a shoulder injury. The frustrated senior, who had off-season surgery to correct his separated right shoulder, was dinged up on the first play of Thursday's 25-play scrimmage.

"It's just like, here it goes again," Hicks said. "It wasn't much fun trying to get through it every day last year. You come out here (this spring) expecting to be 100 percent. It's just frustrating."

Hicks said he'll return to the schedule he was on most of last season. He'll get daily treatment on his shoulder and avoid contact work during practice. Nutt said Hicks will likely be limited to non-contact work the rest of spring practice.

Pink Is Out
Arkansas defensive players caught loafing too much during practice won't be wearing pink jerseys anymore.

Nutt said the Hogs have done away with the motivational ploy after fielding several complaints from cancer victims and survivors. Pink is the color associated with the Race for the Cure, a national event that raises funds to promote research toward finding a cure for breast cancer.

"That was the last thing on our minds, to discredit somebody who has showed a lot of toughness," Nutt said. "I know how strong and how brave they are. We'll mix up the (jersey) colors, burnt orange, purple, yellow. We'll mix up the colors that way.

"Hopefully we won't offend anybody else."

D-Line Dings
Arkansas' defensive line also was hit by the injury bug Saturday. Redshirt freshman defensive end Michael Tate and sophomore defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe missed Monday's practice after sustaining injuries during the 60-play scrimmage.

Tate didn't practice after sustaining a knee injury Saturday. The 6-foot-4, 253-pounder has been working at second-team left defensive end this spring. Bledsoe sustained a minor concussion after banging his head on the turf Saturday.

"The back of his head hit the ground pretty hard," Nutt said. "It was pretty hard contact right there. He got up, made the next couple plays and boy, you could see him start to lose it. He didn't know where he was."

Bledsoe checked into the hospital and stayed overnight for observations. He didn't practice Monday, but watched the workout from the sideline.

Defense Lays Egg
Herring said his defense put together solid performances Friday and Saturday. But he wasn't happy Monday afternoon.

"We came out today and just laid an egg," Herring said. "I was disappointed in our leadership. We had nobody pushing each other in practice.

"We had no emotion and that's the biggest thing we stressed to them (Monday). We can't do that. We can't be sporadic. We have to be consistent. We have so many days in the spring, they're so valuable, especially with the young guys we have.

"We've got to regroup and come back (today) and get our act together."

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