Hogs Look At All Four Quarterbacks

FAYETTEVILLE -- Amid the fans' wailing and gnashing of teeth on talk shows, and a 20-minute gully-washer outside that would have challenged Noah, the Razorbacks purposefully went about their off-week work inside the Walker Pavilion on Wednesday.

All four quarterbacks -- Robert Johnson, Alex Mortensen, Cole Barthel and Casey Dick -- got their fair share of reps, and for the second day in a row Nutt praised Dick of Allen, Texas, and fellow freshman Rod Coleman, a talented receiver from Camden.

"We gave Casey all the scrimmage plays," Nutt said.

So, is Dick, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder with a strong arm, going to be "unredshirted"?

"It depends on next week," Nutt said.

Arkansas is 1-3 with Johnson as the starter, and last week Arkansas converted just 3-of-17 third-down situations in a 24-13 loss to Alabama.

Roy Wittke, Arkansas' quarterbacks coach, gave all four QBs good marks in Wednesday's practice.

"They're all doing good things," Wittke said. "We gave them all a number of reps, especially Alex and Cole. They normally don't get that much work during a normal game week because the focus is on getting the No. 1 guy ready. But this week they've gone against the defense in live situations."

Wittke was asked if Arkansas might play more than one quarterback against Louisiana-Monroe next week in Little Rock.

"Our attitude about that never changes," he said. "Our attitude is the top three need to be prepared and ready to play every Saturday like they are the No. 1 guy. Because they're possibly one or two plays away from being under the gun. Watching games around the country, you can see most teams need more than one guy."

Asked about Dick's status, Wittke said, "It's the same situation. You've gotta prepare all the guys well in the meeting room. If they're needed, they've got to be ready to go. You decide on redshirts when the season is over and there are no more games to be played. You've gotta make sure all these guys are prepared to play."

McFadden Impressive
Hogs freshman tailback Darren McFadden of North Little Rock is resting a badly bruised left shoulder, but should be ready for Louisiana-Monroe.

"Boy, that guy is tough," Nutt said while watching a group of Razorbacks run sprints. "You can't keep him off the field."

On his 70-yard touchdown run at Tuscaloosa, Ala., that caused an eerie quiet in a crowd of 81,000, McFadden delivered a stiff-arm with his good (right) shoulder to shake a defender. But he wasn't favoring his sore left shoulder.

"It was just instinctive," McFadden said. "He was inside of me."

McFadden didn't expect to contribute so much so soon to the Razorbacks.

"I was just hoping to contribute a little bit this year, but so far I've contributed a whole lot," he said.

McFadden said the Hogs' practices have been good this week.

"Everyone is still keeping a positive attitude," McFadden said. "We're getting our mistakes corrected."

Luigs Back, Baker Set Back
Arkansas offensive guard Jonathan Luigs has returned to practice and his starting position, but wide receiver Chris Baker has suffered another setback.

"Luigs and (linebacker) Pierre Brown will be ready next week," Nutt said. "But Baker had a reinjury from Sunday. It's a kneecap thing."

Graham Returning
Arkansas freshman linebacker Tyrell Graham of Houston, Texas, who missed the Alabama game and has not been with the team this week, was scheduled to return to Fayetteville on Wednesday evening.

"We're going to make sure he gets all the help he needs," Nutt said. "He has a doctor's appointment."

Nutt was asked if Graham would return to practice.

"At some point," Nutt said. "It depends on what the doctors say."

Getting The Jump
Nutt said the Hogs had "another good practice" on Wednesday and used the extra time to begin preparations for Louisiana-Monroe.

"We've got some breakdowns already," he said. "We're into it pretty good. We'll watch them this week, but they'll do a lot of the same things. They may add two or three formations."

Arkansas is 5-0 against ULM, having met the Indians of the Sun Belt Conference for the first time in 1996 and most recently in 2004.

Indians coach Charlie Weatherbie, who was 6-17 in his first two seasons at the school, is a former UA offensive assistant.

Recruiting Priorities
Nutt, who will conduct practice with defensive coordinator Reggie Herring today while the rest of the staff goes recruiting, reiterated that Arkansas is targeting safeties and linebackers in particular, including some "jukes," or junior college players.

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