Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said the Razorbacks, in an on-going search for depth and talent, have decided to evaluate both at new positions before spring drills end with Saturday's Red and White Game in Razorback Stadium.
So in addition to his work with the defense, Coe caught passes as a receiver during one-on-one drills Tuesday. Brown, who has drawn praise for his progress at receiver this spring, spent a portion of his workout at defensive end."We're just taking a look at them," Nutt said. "I think it's more to see if we're going to move them. It's hard to do two-way (during the season). If there's special situations we might could do that, but it's just hard to have two-way players."
Nutt said neither move is permanent, yet. But the Hogs will use the next three workouts to evaluate Coe and Brown. Arkansas then will decide the best fit for each player before preseason drills begin in August.
"We're just trying to take advantage of everything we possibly can," said receivers coach James Shibest. "You want to look at these things so you can solve these questions now. You really can't get a lot done right now as far as running plays, but you can look at them in one-on-ones and see if there's any potential there."
Shibest said Coe, Arkansas' most experienced cornerback, was impressive in his short stint at receiver Tuesday. That wasn't much of a surprise because Coe piled up 1,400 receiving yards as a prep senior at Memphis Cordova High School in 2001.
The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Coe moved to cornerback during his first semester at Arkansas, was a special teams regular in 2003 and started six games at field cornerback in 2004. He missed three games with a deep thigh bruise, but tied Lerinezo Robinson and Vickiel Vaughn for the team lead in interceptions (2).
Position coach Bobby Allen said Coe is experienced enough to miss portions of practice with the cornerbacks without falling too far behind. His absence won't hurt the Hogs, either, because Allen has six other cornerbacks to work with this spring.
"I was very impressed with him," Shibest said. "He was a receiver in high school so you can see a little bit. He's going to be a redshirt junior so he's mature. The main thing is the players are receptive to it and take it as a compliment that you can do two or three different things. I was happy to get a chance to look at him a little bit."
The 6-foot-6, 223-pound Brown said he's getting the first defensive experience of his career this week. Brown, who has four years of organized football experience, redshirted in 2004 after spending two years at Mississippi Delta Community College.
Nutt said defensive coordinator Reggie Herring has wanted the chance to evaluate Brown at defensive end since off-season conditioning drills.
"Right now, it's an experiment," Herring said. "But we do know that if we do make the move, we think we have a pretty special guy that can rush the passer.
"He's fast. He's quick. He's instinctive. He's natural."
Nutt said Brown collected three sacks during third-and-long drills Tuesday and will continue to get work with the defense the rest of the week.
"It came natural," Brown said. "I just went over there and they told me what to do and I just used different techniques that I use on receivers.
"Whatever happens, happens. I'm just looking forward to helping the team out."
Sophomore receiver David Thompson left Tuesday's practice after getting kicked in the helmet during pass skeleton drills.
"He was dizzy a little bit," Nutt said. "He didn't get knocked out. Just for precaution we took him out of practice, but we expect him to be back tomorrow."
In addition, guard Chase Pressley and defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe remained sidelined because of concussions sustained earlier this spring. Neither player is expected to get much work during the final three days of spring drills.
Arkansas will take today off before returning to the practice field Thursday and Friday. The Razorbacks will hold their spring-ending, Red and White Game on Saturday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. ... Nutt said the scrimmage will last about 40 plays and said it will be "very competitive." ... Nutt said he'll participate in the 7-on-7 game between former Hogs during Saturday's RazorFest. His teammates include Shibest, tight end Joe Dean Davenport and Hubert Loudermilk.
Coe, Brown Working Two Positions
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