Childs Gives Hogs A Breath of Fresh Air

FAYETTEVILLE — Greg Childs stepped off the football field following another long practice and tried to catch his breath.

But he didn't get much of a chance.

Several reporters waited to talk to the freshman, who showed during his debut last Saturday that he could bring a breath of fresh air to Arkansas' revamped passing game.

"I just came out with the idea to just play hard for my team and try to help us win," Childs said in between gasps of air.

Heading into the season opener against Western Illinois, much of the attention was focused on Arkansas' other freshman wide receivers — Joe Adams and Jarius Wright, Child's teammate at Warren High.

But with one game, Childs helped separate himself from the pack and become the Southeastern Conference's leading receiver after the first week of the college football season.

The freshman overcame his share of rookie mistakes to catch a team-high six passes for 88 yards, and he reeled in a 26-yard touchdown strike that helped Arkansas rally for a 28-24 victory over Western Illinois.

"He's quick, he's very strong off the line of scrimmage and he doesn't have a lot of fear. Just go get the ball across the middle," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "So he has a good package going."

Childs leads the SEC with 88 receiving yards, one more than LSU's Brandon LaFell. His six catches rank second in the league behind the seven from Alabama's Nick Walker.

And with junior London Crawford still bothered by a concussion, Childs is poised to get his first career start against Lousiana-Monroe at 6 p.m. Saturday in War Memorial Stadium.

At first glance, it's easy to see why Childs is often compared to former Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk. He's tall and lanky at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and he's wearing Monk's old No. 85.

"Everybody wants to compare me to Marcus Monk." Childs said. "But I'm just going to be myself."

Five of Childs' six receptions in the season opener resulted in first downs, and he was especially productive as the Razorbacks tried to erase a late 10-point deficit.

He caught two passes for 31 yards on Arkansas' first series of the fourth quarter, including the 26-yard touchdown pass that cut Western Illinois' lead to 24-21 with less than eight minutes remaining.

Childs also helped set up quarterback Casey Dick's go-ahead touchdown run with 1:49 remaining with a 21-yard catch and then another 13 yards on a reception near the end zone.

"He's going to be unbelievable," Dick said of Childs. "People might have to wait a little more or wait around just a little bit for him to figure out what everything's going on.

"But like I said, he played great in the game."

Greg Childs

Class: Freshman

Hometown: Warren

Size: 6-foot-4, 205 pounds

Notable: Childs is among Arkansas' three freshman wide receivers from Warren High, along with Jarius Wright and Chris Gragg. He made his debut with six catches for 88 yards in last Saturday's 28-24 win over Western Illinois, and oddly, he gained more yards on each catch. He had receptions of 4, 5, 13, 19, 21 and 26 yards.

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