Herring Keeps Yelling To A Minimum

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas second-year defensive coordinator Reggie Herring's voice isn't as hoarse as it often was at this time a year ago.

Last spring, he did as much yelling as teaching while instilling his new defense. This spring, it's more about fine tuning certain aspects of the game since players have a better grasp of the scheme.

"He still yells because he's a perfectionist, but not as much because we're starting to really understand what's expected of us," said Hogs cornerback Matterral Richardson after Tuesday's practice.

Herring continues to call the defense "a work in progress" and he's excited about the opportunity to evaluate more players in a game-like situation in Saturday's Red-White scrimmage (1 p.m., Reynolds Razorback Stadium). His only concerns are the depth at linebacker and strong safety, where Michael Grant continued to work with the first-team on Tuesday.

"The system is in place. Now, we've elevated our standards," Herring said. "We have to elevate our play and to do that, we've got to work harder than we've ever worked. It never gets easier. It's just that maybe the picture gets clearer as to where you've got to get to.

"Right now, I think we're pretty much on schedule. I think we'll have a good 11 out there that will be very competitive and represent Arkansas well."

Herring was especially complimentary of how the defensive line has come together. The chemistry is probably helped by the fact that all four projected starters -- Jamaal Anderson, Antwain Robinson, Keith Jackson and Marcus Harrison --are from the Little Rock area.

"I feel like everybody has a better grip on the scheme now," Anderson said. "We can hit things at a faster pace because we've got the scheme down and we now can improve and perfect it even more.

"We'll be better, that's for sure."

Elite Group
Sophomore Felix Jones was surprised to see his silhouette added to the "All-Americans' display outside the Hogs' locker room on Tuesday. He was named a first-team All-American kick returner by CollegeFootballNews.com after finishing second in the nation with 31.9 yards per return.

"It looks really nice and it's a blessing. It really is," said Jones, who also plays tailback. "It means a lot to me because when I leave, people will still see that."

Unselfish as always, Jones said the picture should have included the entire return team.

"That wasn't all me," Jones said. "It takes all 11 to return a kickoff, so I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates also."

Also on the display are silhouettes of former Razorbacks Jermaine Petty, Kenoy Kennedy, Kenny Hamlin, Anthony Lucas, Brandon Burlsworth and Shawn Andrews.

LB Transferring
Reserve linebacker Donovan Johnson said Tuesday he has decided to transfer to Eastern Illinois at the end of the semester. The cousin of former Razorback Quinton Caver, Johnson turned down several scholarship offers out of high school to walk-on at Arkansas.

"I've got a scholarship offer from Eastern Illinois, so I'm going to take it," Johnson said. "I hate it, but I've got to do what's best for me and best for my family."

Johnson will have three years of eligibility remaining at Eastern Illinois, which is ranked as high No. 15 in Division I-AA in the preseason.

Getting Cut
Punter Jacob Skinner's curly hair continues to grow and is flowing a few inches out from underneath his helmet. He hasn't cut it since before last season for "Locks of Love," an organization that donates hair to youth with cancer.

"It's got to be 10 inches and I think its about 8 or 9 right now," Skinner said. "I'm hoping to get it cut before summer gets here because I know it's going to be hot, so as soon as it gets to 10 inches, it's gone. It's been a pain like when the wind is blowing it into my face, but it's definitely worth the trouble."

Extra Points
Kevin Woods worked with the first-team at free safety in place of starter Randy Kelly, who missed because of a class for the second straight day ... Springdale signee Ben Cleveland, a tight end, attended Tuesday's practice ... Shiloh Christian offensive lineman and Arkansas recruit Noah Hankins was at practice ... Former basketball player Dean Tolson, who owns the school's all-time record for rebounding average with 11.0 per game from 1972-74, also attended practice.

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