Depth Chart Offers Surprises

There were some surprises on the post-spring depth chart released Wednesday by Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt. Here's a look at the depth chart with some thoughts from the UA skipper.

Anthony Brown is listed as the first teamer at right defensive end after trying the position on a part-time basis for the last three days of spring drills. That's the major news in the post-spring depth chart released by the Arkansas coaches Wednesday.

In the other major news, Robert Johnson is listed as the starter at quarterback, but head coach Houston Nutt said the first-team slot was still undecided heading into fall camp.

On the quarterbacks, head coach Houston Nutt said, "Robert is a little ahead. It will be a good race when they come back. Robert is slightly ahead, but he's got to consistently improve some of his decisions. He's big and athletic and did some good things. Alex Mortensen made some of the bigger throws this spring and Cole Barthel has to keep coming. It's ashame Cole didn't get another 100 to 150 plays this spring."

In the move to list Brown as a starter at defensive end, Nutt said he gave up the wide receiver for defense because coordinator Reggie Herring told the head coach "he'll be the starter for the first day of practice for fall camp."

Brown was upbeat about the move and knows that he'll get a shot to start, Nutt said of his one-on-one meeting with the Hot Springs junior. He wasn't a starter at wideout, although he was in the rotation.

How do coaches justify listing Brown as the starter after only a handful of snaps at defensive end this spring?

"I'll tell you how we justified it," Nutt said, "he's the best athlete who fits the description of that position. We know what the other guys can do. We (put him first) to give him a very hard look early.

"He runs a 4.4. He had eight plays there in the spring and made six sacks. It's called productivity. If the guys we have listed behind him don't like it, beat him out."

Concerning others on defense listed high on the depth chart, Nutt said, "I promised them that when we went in their home to recruit them. It's a situation that creates competition. I think it's healthy. Those freshmen linebackers are listed there for the first day of two-a-days. That's what this depth chart means. That's what I told the (older) players. It's the first day and that's all it means."

FRESHMAN ON 2ND TEAM

The freshmen listed high on the defensive depth chart are promises made by defensive coordinator Reggie Herring in the recruiting process. They were promised they would be at least second team on the first day of practice. Things may change after the first day.

For example, linebacker Tyrell Graham was a heavy lean to Kansas State when Herring went into his home. Herring really liked him on film and promised that if he would come to Arkansas he would be on the depth chart (at least on the second team) for the first day of August practices. Marcus Shavers was a commitment from the previous summer, but he is also listed at second team at defensive tackle.

Nutt was clear in his meeting with the media Wednesday afternoon that those defensive depth chart listings for the freshmen were strictly because they were promises made in recruiting in living rooms. Coaches promised Tyrell Graham, Freddie Fairchild and Michael Bibbs they would be second team when fall practices opened.

Offensively, Nutt also said that tailbacks Darren McFadden, Michael Smith and Felix Jones would get the same early look. They aren't listed in the depth chart, but Nutt said they will get them early reps and find out if they can help in the two-deep this season.

POST-SPRING MOVES

Sam Olajubutu moves from mike linebacker to will linebacker. Houston Nutt said that was to make room for Weston Dacus at mike.

"Will linebacker plays in the gaps and blitzes more and that fits Sam Olajubutu more," Nutt said. "The mike will play between the tackles and that fits Dacus more."

Desmond Williams was moved from outside linebacker back to free safety.

Michael Coe, after experimenting at wideout, will stay at cornerback.

Shedrick Johnson was moved from corner to wide receiver.

Lerinezo Robinson was moved to cornerback where his shoulder won't take as much of a beating. He missed most of spring drills after his shoulder was repaired with offeseason surgery. He's played safety the last three years.

And, as mentioned earlier, Anthony Brown is the starter at right defensive end after spending most of his first year at Arkansas as a wide receiver.

SENIOR DEMOTIOINS

Houston Nutt said he's still waiting on the trial for Hicks on public intoxication charges (Hicks pleaded innocent this week) before a determination of punishment.

Both Hicks and Moore have had offseason surgery. Hicks had shoulder surgery in the winter, then reinjured it in spring drills. Moore had knee surgery and sat out contact in the spring.

"I told Clarke that (fourth team) was only temporary," Nutt said. "He's going to get a hard, quick look at end when we come back in August. The bottom line is that (Moore and Hicks) weren't out there (for contact) this spring. Clarke is coming back from a tough knee injury. But this depth chart is just for the first day.

"Clarke is going to get a very good look and may not stay fourth long. He knows that.

"The most disappointing thing is that this was two seniors. It's the only problem they've ever had and they are better people than this."

Asked if the Hicks arrest was factored in with his assignment to the fourth team, Nutt said, "Everything adds up. He's still going to trial. The bottom line is he was out late and I'm disappointed."

2005 Post-Spring Depth Chart

OFFENSE

Split End
85 - Marcus Monk, 6-6, 224, SO-1L
28 - Chris Baker, 6-1, 198, JR-2L
81 - David Thompson, 6-2, 190, JR-1L
NA - Richard Bracken, 5-11, 165, SR-SQ
NA - Justin Snelson, 6-3, 198, FR-RS


Left Tackle
66 - Tony Ugoh, 6-5, 303, SR-2L
76 - Matt Gilbow, 6-6, 300, SO-1L
NA - Jose Valdez, 6-6, 305, FR-HS


Left Guard 74 - Stephen Parker, 6-4, 308, JR-1L
60 - Chase Pressley, 6-4, 310, JR-1L
72 - Cody Green, 6-6, 295, FR-RS
NA - Joey Crossland, 6-5, 295, FR-HS


Center
70 - Kyle Roper, 6-3, 291, SR-3L
63 - Jonathan Luigs, 6-4, 298, FR-RS
54 - Skye Peterson, 6-2, 291, JR-SQ


Right Guard
61 - Robert Felton, 6-4, 322, SO-1L
68 - Tyler Morgan, 6-6, 290, JR-1L
NA - Colin Tucker, 6-4, 270, FR-HS


Right Tackle
69 - Zac Tubbs, 6-6, 358, SR-2L
75 - Nate Garner, 6-6, 319, SO-1L
NA - Michael Aguirre, 6-6, 305, FR-HS


Tight End
80 - Mason Templeton, 6-7, 258, SO-1L
88 - Marc Winston, 6-5, 260, FR-RS
87 - Lance Thompson, 6-4, 245, FR-RS
86 - Jared Hicks, 6-6, 280, SR-3L


Flanker
16 - Cedric Washington, 6-0, 191, JR-2L
5 - Cedric Logan, 6-0, 179, SO-SQ
NA - Reggie Fish, 5-7, 150, FR-HS
NA - Shedrick Johnson, 5-10, 182, FR-RS
NA - Rod Coleman, 6-2, 175, FR-HS


Quarterback
18 - Robert Johnson, 6-2, 212, SO-1L
7 - Alex Mortensen, 6-2, 208, FR-RS OR
13 - Cole Barthel, 6-2, 210, FR-HS


Tailback
26 - De'Arrius Howard, 6-0, 228, SR-3L OR
22 - Peyton Hillis, 6-2, 238, SO-1L
29 - Kyle Dickerson, 5-9, 197, SR-3L
1 - Dedrick Poole, 5-10, 193, SR-2L
NA - Zach Butler, 6-0, 215, FR-RS
NA - Korey Sutton, 5-9, 193, FR-RS


Fullback
47 - Brandon Kennedy, 5-11, 238, SR-3L
33 - Farod Jackson, 6-0, 226, SO-1L
NA - Kyle Payne, 6-0, 222, FR-RS




DEFENSE

Left End
23 - Desmond Sims, 6-3, 228, JR-2L
82 - Jamaal Anderson, 6-6, 262, SO-1L
NA - Michael Hall, 6-4, 235, FR-HS
46 - Clarke Moore, 6-2, 245, SR-3L


Left Tackle
87 - Ernest Mitchell, 6-2, 297, FR-RS
NA - Marcus Shavers, 6-3, 265, FR-HS
97 - Jeremy Harrell, 6-2, 282, JR-2L
99 - Keith Jackson, 6-0, 302, JR-2L


Right Tackle
55 - Marcus Harrison, 6-3, 300, SO-1L
42 - Fred Bledsoe, 6-3, 313, SO-1L
NA - Cord Gray, 6-2, 270, FR-HS


Right End
83 - Anthony Brown, 6-6, 223, JR-RS
36 - Zach Snider, 6-3, 234, FR-RS
90 - Michael Tate, 6-4, 253, FR-RS
NA - Donovan Johnson, 6-1, 216, FR-RS


Will Linebacker
24 - Sam Olajabutu, 5-9, 227, SR-2L
NA - Freddie Fairchild, 6-2, 215, FR-HS
37 - Michael Robinson, 6-2, 216, SR-2L
48 - D'Nerian Wrighter, 6-1, 212, SO-SQ


Mike Linebacker
30 - Weston Dacus, 6-2, 235, SO-1L
NA - Tyrell Graham, 6-3, 210, FR-HS
NA - Antwain Robinson, 6-3, 240, FR-HS


Sam Linebacker
27 - Pierre Brown, 6-0, 227, SR-3L
NA - Michael Bibbs, 6-2, 205, FR-HS
NA - De'Andre Bryant, 6-6, 205, FR-HS
NA - Matt Stoltz, 6-3, 230, FR-TR


Left Cornerback
16 - Matterral Richardson, 6-0, 189, SO-1L
8 - Michael Grant, 5-11, 185, SO-1L
21 - Lerinezo Robinson, 6-0, 191, SR-3L
20 - John Johnson, 5-10, 192, JR-2L


Strong Safety
31 - Vickiel Vaughn, 6-0, 204, SR-3L
34 - Desmond Williams, 6-2, 217, FR-RS
3 - Kevin Woods, 5-10, 191, SO-1L
NA - Kevin Thornton, 6-2, 190, FR-HS
NA - Matt Harris, 6-2, 190, FR-HS


Free Safety
6 - Randy Kelly, 6-0, 188, JR-1L
43 - Dallas Washington, 6-0, 190, SO-1L
NA - Rick Culbert, 6-0, 193, FR-RS
NA - Elston Forte, 6-1, 185, FR-HS


Right Cornerback
4 - Darius Vinnett, 5-9, 170, SR-1L
2 - Chris Houston, 5-11, 180, SO-1L
19 - Michael Coe, 6-1, 182, JR-2L
NA - Jamar Love, 6-1, 190, FR-HS


SPECIAL TEAMS
Kickoff
55 - Chris Balseiro, 6-1, 215, SR-2L
53 - Rusty McEntire, 5-10, 172, JR-1L


Placekicker
55 - Chris Balseiro, 6-1, 215, SR-2L
53 - Rusty McEntire, 5-10, 172, JR-1L


Punter
40 - Jeremy Davis, 5-9, 200, SO-1L
48 - Jacob Skinner, 6-3, 212, JR-2L


Deep Snapper
51 - Brett Goode, 6-1, 229, JR-2L


Holder
48 - Jacob Skinner, 6-3, 212, JR-2L

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