Houston Nutt said after practice Wednesday that he's made most of the critical decisions about the depth chart, but he wants to sleep on it one more night before releasing it to the media. The Arkansas coach did indicate that the placekicker's job will be between Dan Bailey and Stephen Arnold, a couple of walkons.
"We've had a great competition over the last couple of weeks between those two," Nutt said. "They've been very good and very consistent. It's the best we've ever had two kickers perform -- in practice."
Nutt said he'll let the sports information office release the depth chart on Thursday morning.
The only other starting position that has been unsettled for fall drills is at the wide receiver spot opposite star junior Marcus Monk. Nutt said senior Cedric Washington has been solid throughout fall camp and has locked down that spot.
The head coach was unclear on the MRI of freshman wideout London Crawford. The Mobile, Ala., receiver has missed most of the last 10 days of workouts with sore knees.
"Don't have that yet," Nutt said. "It's hard to tell on that right now. We'll try to rehab him over the next few days and see where he is middle of next week and then we'll make a decision on him. We'll let Dean (Weber) make that decision."
Backup linebacker Weston Dacus, slowed with a high ankle sprain, sat out Wednesday. Dacus had missed several workouts last week, then practiced Monday and Tuesday. He had some minor swelling after those two practices and a decision has been made to hold him out of the next several practices. Nutt said Dacus would likely not return until next week.
"We held back Dacus a little bit today," Nutt said. "He'll be alright by next week and he's very valuable since he can play all three spots.
"Anthony Brown is getting better. He should be good to go for the game. Michael Smith, at tailback, was still a little sore today. With Smith and Darren McFadden missing, we brought up Hezekiah Smith to give Felix Jones some rest today. We are just missing some legs there at tailback right now."
Offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, out two workouts with a hip flexor injury last week, appears to be full speed now.
Nutt said true freshman Ben Cleveland continues to make plays in his move from tight end to wide receiver. He said Cleveland is likely in the mix there for the Southern Cal game.
"What we've seen of Ben so far has been very good," Nutt said. "We are excited with his play. He's been doing a very good job."
Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring likes what he sees of his top 11, but aches for more depth.
"The questions right now -- is Anthony Brown healthy, is Weston Dacus healthy and can Jarrrell Norton learned enough in the secondary?" Herring said. "I think we are in good shape with all three, but those are the things we'll be checking the next few days.
"We've got to get Dacus healed. He is so important because of his versatility. We are going to hold him out. He's got the mental down. He's missing some physical work, but we feel good enough about him to do that, hold him a few more days."
Wendell Davis is getting the repetitions as the backup middle linebacker with Dacus out. Herring is also working Ryan Powers and Adrian Davis at strong side linebacker. Chip Gregory, another freshman, has a shoulder issue that may keep him out this season. Herring said neither Powers or Adrian Davis is ready to play, but both are improving. Wendell Davis has shown the toughness to play in game.
"Gregory's shoulder is something we just have to continue to evaluate," Herring said. "We are going to have to address that soon."
Herring said the Hogs are probably in a similar position as far as depth as many other programs.
"You look around the country and there are probably a few that have good solid depth, but not many," he said. "So we are about like most. We've got 11 that I like and feel good about as far as the knowledge, experience and the intangibles. We are right where we need to be with those 11."
What does he see on film when he studies Southern Cal?
"I see another fine team with great athletes," Herring said. "They are really good at wide receiver where (Dwayne) Jarrett and (Steve) Smith are very good.
"You've got two different types. You've got Smith that is a smaller guy who plays with a nasty disposition. He's got a great release and has real speed. Then, you've got the bigger guy in Jarrett. He doesn't get off the line like Smith, but once he does get into air he is like a gazelle on fire. They are different, but both really good. And, they've got good players at every other position."
Nutt added, "The misconception about SC is that they lost a lot from last year. Well, they are still loaded with talent. They have those wideouts and they have talent everywhere else, too. They have special ability."
Wednesday Grid Update, 8/23
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