QB Dick Performing Well In Practice

FAYETTEVILLE — Houston Nutt's departure, the ongoing search for his replacement and final exams don't seem to be affecting Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick on the practice field.

Interim coach Reggie Herring said the junior was impressive for the second straight practice Saturday. It was Arkansas' second of the postseason.

"Casey Dick is throwing the ball just about how he did in the LSU game," Herring said. "He's throwing the ball as well as he has all year and even (offensive coordinator David) Lee mentioned he's starting to really get it."

Dick has been much-maligned this season, but turned in two of his best performances against Mississippi State and LSU.

He completed 14 of 17 passes for 199 yards with a career-high four touchdown passes against Mississippi State. The next week, he helped the Razorbacks upset LSU by completing 10 of 18 for 199 and two scores.

"Those two games have really put his confidence level up somewhere it hasn't been before," Lee said.

Dick has completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,498 yards with 18 touchdowns and 9 interceptions as Arkansas' full-time starter. His 18 touchdown passes are tied with Matt   Jones (2003) and Quinn Grovey (1990) for third on the school's single-season list.

Lee said Dick, as well as the rest of the offense, have been impressive in this week even though center Jonathan Luigs and running back Darren McFadden didn't work out Saturday. Luigs, who was in Orlando for two days as part of the College Football Awards Show, had an exam. McFadden, of course, was in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

"(Dick) looked really good in these first two practices, looked real sharp," Lee said. "The offense has looked sharp. We've had two very good practices.

"We're getting something done here."


Luigs won a share of the Jacobs Trophy, which is awarded to the Southeastern Conference's top blocker, on Wednesday. One day later, he won the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top center.

So, on paper, there's not much Luigs has left to accomplish in college. But the Little Rock native said last week he will be back at Arkansas next season.

"I want to come back," Luigs said. "There's things here I want to do. I still have things that need to get better. From my standpoint, I think the NFL will always be there and you can't really ever come back to college and have the friendships that you've had here. That's something I want to do."

Two of his teammates, McFadden and Jones, have not publicly revealed their plans. Both have said they will make a decision after the Cotton Bowl.


It's not often that Herring got excited on the practice field when Arkansas' offense did something impressive. But the defensive coordinator has changed his tune since becoming the school's interim coach.

In fact, Herring raised his hands and cheered after a big offensive play during Saturday's practice. Herring, who has turned defensive coordinator duties over to Louis Campbell for the bowl game, also spent a good portion of practice open to the media watching the offense Saturday.

"He comes over and motivates us and gets us going," Dick said. "The players respect him a lot just because everybody on defense really respects him for what he's done over there. He's done a fantastic job over there."


Receivers Marcus Monk and Robert Johnson, who spent much of the season off the practice field, worked out with the team Saturday. Lee said Monk continues to improve after missing the first six games because of a knee injury: "I saw Marcus' quickness improve. He was just running better. His feet are moving quicker. That's encouraging." ... Arkansas will not practice again until Tuesday, taking time off because of final exams. The Razorbacks will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week. ... After a week on the awards circuit, McFadden will return to practice Tuesday.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories