FOOTBALL: Robinson, Herring Take Different Ca

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson was anxious to make the move from the NFL to the college football ranks.

And Reggie Herring, the Razorbacks' former defensive coordinator, will be taking the opposite career path.

Robinson, who had worked as an assistant for four NFL teams since 2000, said during his introductory news conference on Wednesday that he was excited to return to college football after being away for so long.

"The reason I say that is my dad has been on my rear end about getting back in college football," said Robinson, who will also serve as Arkansas' safeties coach.

"My wife, my youngest daughter — who's high maintenance — my oldest daughter — who's taking care of herself pretty well — they liked the money that the other league (the NFL) brought in.

"But the fact is I have a great desire being back in college and having the ability to teach, working with people that don't think they know everything."

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino hired Robinson after a two-week search to find a replacement for Ellis Johnson, who resigned Jan. 24 to become South Carolina's defensive coordinator.

But while Robinson went from the NFL to the Razorbacks, Herring is reportedly on the verge of going the other way.

Herring, who served as Arkansas' defensive coordinator for the past three seasons under former coach Houston Nutt, was hired as the Dallas Cowboys' linebackers coach Saturday.

Herring, 48, was hired in early January as Texas A&M's defensive coordinator, but the chance to return to the NFL is apparently too much of a draw for him to turn down. He served as the Houston Texans' linebackers coach from 2002-03.

One More Corner

Petrino used his first recruiting class at Arkansas to address several needs, particularly at wide receiver, linebacker and along the defensive line.

But as with any recruiting class, Arkansas' coaches didn't get everything they were hoping for.

"We'd like to have one more true corner in this group," Arkansas secondary coach Lorenzo Ward said. "We got some athletes that we're saying that we think we can play corner, but (it'd be good to get) actually guys that have done it."

The Razorbacks must replace their two starting cornerbacks from last season, Michael Grant and Matterral Richardson, who were both seniors.

Arkansas' coaches added some help to the position by signing a pair of Texas cornerbacks in Chris Raggett (Beaumont) and Tramain Thomas (Winnie). And though it's early, Ward is already expecting big things from Thomas.

"I think Tramain Thomas is a name that you will hear for the next four years here in Fayetteville, Ark.," Ward said. "He will be a key young man for sure at the corner spot, and I think he will play at the next level."

Big Day

April 26 should be a busy day for Arkansas fans still hungry for football.

Petrino announced this week that the Razorbacks will wrap up spring practice with the playing of the Red-White game on April 26. That Saturday just happens to be the first day of the NFL Draft.

Former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is almost a guarantee to be invited to the draft as a likely top 5 pick, and fellow tailback Felix Jones could also hear his name called that afternoon during the first round.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that MMG Sports Management, which is owned by former Arkansas track star Mike Conley, will represent McFadden. NFL agent Ian Greengross will assist with contract negotiations.

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