Walk-On Glasper Plays Big

FAYETTEVILLE — The smallest member of Arkansas' defense turned in its biggest plays during Saturday's scrimmage in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Cornerback Darrell Glasper, a 5-foot-8 walk-on, intercepted two passes and broke up three more against the Razorbacks' first-team offense.

"They've been pushing him from day one," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said of his defensive staff. "He's very quick and smart and (Saturday) what he did was he kept his eyes back in the backfield and made some plays."

Glasper moved up to the first-team defense on Friday because of a thigh injury to Jamar Love. So he made the most of his opportunity with the starters, stepping in front of two passes thrown by quarterback Casey Dick.

Glasper, a former LSU walk-on, said he was just doing his job by filling in for an injured teammate.

"I'm a smaller cornerback and people look down on me and think I can't play," Glasper said. "But once the ball is on the field, there's 11 people and I just play ball."

Glasper's performance was part of a secondary that impressed Petrino. The group, which is replacing four starters, intercepted three passes.

But cornerbacks coach Lorenzo Ward said there still were some areas of concern.

"We're better, but the biggest thing is, we can't give up deep balls," Ward said. "That happened (Saturday)."

Running in Pain

Running back Michael Smith will be seeing a surgeon soon.

The junior said he is practicing with a hernia this spring and has been scheduled for surgery shortly after the Red-White Game on April 26.

"It can't get any worse than it is right now," said Smith, who believes the hernia has had its biggest affect on his pass blocking. "It's just to my pain tolerance. As long as I can feel like I can go, I can go."

Smith, who missed last week's scrimmage with a hip pointer, didn't struggle Saturday. He led Arkansas' rushers with 19 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

"It hurts, but it's working," Smith said.

Cleveland Catches

Another player slowed by injuries — tight end Ben Cleveland — turned in his first spring highlight Saturday.

Cleveland, who is trying to recover from neck and toe injuries, caught two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown during the scrimmage. His first catch, a 16-yarder, was polished off with a big collision with a defensive back.

"It's been a little hard on him not being 100 percent yet," Petrino said. "But we're keeping him going. We were trying to get him more work (Saturday) because this is the best he's felt. ... Hopefully by August he'll be 100 percent."

No Fair

Defensive linemen must hate scrimmages. Arkansas' quarterbacks are protected from contact, so dropping them in the offensive backfield isn't allowed.

However, sacks were recorded each time a defensive player got his hand on a quarterback Saturday. Arkansas counted 12 sacks during the scrimmage.

"I tried to load up more this week and let them understand when they did have the quarterbacks sacked, but it does take a little away," Petrino said.

It didn't stop the group from earning its share of constructive criticism from Petrino, though.

"We still need to improve on our pass rushers," he said. "Our inside guys is the area that's still bothering me."

Injury Report

In addition to Love, Arkansas practiced without running back Chip Gregory on Saturday. Gregory, who has an ankle injury, was attending a family member's funeral.

Cornerback Isaac Madison also left the scrimmage with a leg injury. He was replaced by Shedrick Johnson.

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