Coe Set To Play Two Ways

FAYETTEVILLE -- A range of thoughts raced through Arkansas cornerback Michael Coe's head when position coach Bobby Allen asked the junior to join him in Houston Nutt's office earlier this week.

Coe, a returning starter, was pretty sure he'd done nothing wrong. But he also knew a spur-of-the-moment meeting with the head coach usually isn't a good thing.

"I mean, it kind of threw me off," Coe said.

Coe's nerves were quickly eased when Nutt and Allen told him Arkansas wanted to experiment with the 6-foot-1, 182-pounder by working him at both cornerback and wide receiver.

Coe will see action at both positions when Arkansas closes spring practice with today's Red-White scrimmage in Razorback Stadium. He is one of two players -- joining receiver/defensive end Anthony Brown -- Nutt has scheduled for about eight snaps at his new position.

"He's doing really well," Nutt said. "He's very natural. We recruited him as a receiver coming out of high school. He's more of a receiver than (defensive back). I tell you, he's got some good instincts. The adjustments he's been making are very good, and he's got good hands.

"I'm excited to see how he responds (today)."

Coe was an all-state selection at Memphis Cordova High after piling up more than 1,400 receiving yards as a senior in 2001.

Coe split time between offense and defense this week and said his memory of the position is slowly coming back.

"They kind of told me I'm probably going to end up playing both, but it's an experimental thing right now," Coe said. "They're giving me enough so I can learn in the summer. I know I've got a long way to go, but a lot of guys are helping me out."

The transition has been difficult, but Coe said it's fun to return to a position he "grew up" playing.

The only drawback is Coe isn't sure where he'll play next fall. The prospects of playing two ways can also be unsettling. To Coe "6-1 corners don't come around very often, while 6-1 receivers can sometimes be a dime a dozen."

But he's willing to make the sacrifice if it'll help.

"I think every guy always wants to play one position," Coe said. "You like to have that stability. But we're trying to win a championship. We've got to have more depth at receiver and Coach thought I was the one guy that can come back over and play.

"If that's what it takes - to play 20, 40 plays on offense, 20, 30 plays on defense - for us to win, I'm willing to do that."

Scrimmage Format Set
Nutt had hoped the Razorbacks would be able to hold a full-fledged spring game, but injuries to the offensive line will limit that today.

Instead, Nutt said Arkansas will get 40 to 50 "quality scrimmage plays," beginning at 11 a.m. The Hogs will split the work into segments to keep linemen fresh.

Arkansas will scrimmage 10 to 12 plays, then get in some punt team work. It'll go 10 to 12 more plays and take a break to kick field goals and extra points. There will be two more 10- to 12-play segments and some red zone work as well.

"I'd love nothing more than to have a game and have two, three units on each side," Nutt said. "That's the way they used to do it when you had (more scholarships).

"But this gives us a great evaluation on both sides, to be able to put good on good, play the game, first down, second down, third down with officials.

"I think our fans will be very, very interested in it and I think they'll get a lot out of it.

"I know we will."

Out of Action
A handful of players have been limited to noncontact work this spring and will be held out of today's scrimmage.

The list includes running backs De'Arrius Howard (shoulder) and Dedrick Poole (hamstring), offensive lineman Zac Tubbs (ankle), defensive end Clarke Moore (knee), defensive tackle Jeremy Harrell (shoulder), safety Lerinezo Robinson (shoulder) and receiver Reggie Fish (shoulder).

Also, defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe and guard Chase Pressley probably won't participate after sustaining concussions earlier this spring. Neither will center Skye Peterson, who underwent hernia surgery this week for the second time in five months.

Extra Points
The spring-concluding Red-White scrimmage is part of RazorFest, which is scheduled to begin with a pep rally at 10:30 a.m. Events include live entertainment, autograph sessions and a 7-on-7 game featuring former Razorbacks. Nutt will quarterback one of the teams. ... Arkansas concentrated on special teams during its light, noncontact practice Friday afternoon. "We took it off them a little bit because we want them awfully fresh (today)," Nutt said. "We want them moving around."

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