UA Spring Practice Report

Arkansas players and coaches hit the practice field with heavy hearts on Thursday afternoon as two Razorback teammates began to deal with the loss of a brother and a friend.

Redshirt freshman De'Arrius Howard left Fayetteville, Ark., after learning that his brother Ron had died unexpectedly early Thursday morning as a result of a medical condition. Junior Richie Butler learned Wednesday night that his high school basketball coach Lendel Thomas collapsed and died during a faculty-student basketball game at Harrison (Ark.) High School.

"Our thoughts and prayers right now are with De'Arrius Howard," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "His brother Ron died earlier this morning. It is just a tragedy. It is extremely sad. Also Richie Butler lost his high school basketball coach. We tell our kids that every single day is a gift and take advantage of it. Go one speed and that is full speed."

The Hogs worked for two hours in full pads in anticipation of this weekend's full-scale scrimmage. Nutt says he is pleased with how his players have responded so far this spring and is looking forward to putting the ball down on Saturday.

"It is going to be a long extended scrimmage," Nutt said. "There are a lot of positions out there that we are studying and trying to evaluate to get the best people on the field. It's going to be different situations. Then we are going to play an overtime situation. We will probably go 100 or 120 plays."

Dozens of high school football coaches attended Thursday's practice as part of the annual Razorback Football Coaching Clinic.

"We did a lot of fundamental work today," Nutt said. "We had a lot of high school coaches around and that adds a lot of energy."

Arkansas will return to the practice field on Friday for a lighter workout before scrimmaging on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Fans wishing to attend the Saturday scrimmage should enter through gate 15 of the east grandstand off of Stadium Drive.


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