Wednesday Grid Update, 12/19

The Hogs ended Wednesday's workout with a spirited competition between kickers. Alex Tejada was the winner.

Alex Tejada hit a 55-yard field goal to end practice and send half of the Razorbacks into orbit, and the other half running gassers.

Tejada's 55-yard field goal followed misses from the same range by Jeremy Davis and Brian Vavra in a competition to end the practice. Tejada, since he was the starter, had only one chance at his 55-yarder. Davis and Vavra would have kept their squad from running if either of them hit. Vavra was just wide and Davis' kick hit the cross bar.

"We just did that to get things excited at the end," said Reggie Herring, interim head coach. "We had some fun at the end. That's what we've been trying to do with this team all the way through the workout."

Herring had good news from the academic support staff at the end of practice. He said all of the Razorbacks are eligible for the bowl game with Missouri.

"Our academic staff has obviously done a good job," Herring said. "So have these players. They have taken care of their business.

"Our players have worked hard in the class room. I think the academic side is very important. They are here to get a degree. They have also worked hard in preparation. Our focus and attention to detail from the players has been excellent. We may have worked more on our bowl practices and spent more time practicing than anyone in the country and our guys have brought and focused every single day.

"I think our guys have given us everything they've had. They are getting ready to play this game. We know we have a great test in Missouri. They are very talented. Missouri has had our players' attention."

The Hogs will finish their bowl practice for the Cotton Bowl on Thursday.

There was good news on the injury front. Both Marcus Monk and Robert Johnson, both nursing sore legs, practiced at apparent full speed on Wednesday. Several players out with viral infections were also back at practice.

Johnson said his leg feels much better. He looked quick and sharp on Wednesday.

"It's a stress fracture in the leg," he said. "It's getting better. Our training staff has done a good job keeping me ready to play. It's bothered me some, but I wanted to play and wanted to play through it.

"I just wanted to be here for this team. I see the way others are fighting through things to play for this team, guys like Darren McFadden all year and Marcus Monk, too."

Johnson said he's been impressed with the way Casey Dick has progressed at quarterback.

"You see a guy grow up as a man this season in Casey," Johnson said. "He's become a leader on the field and off the field. He does the little things that a leader has to do. It's been very impressive. He's playing well right now. He's been very good in these bowl practices."

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