Running Backs Go Down In Practice

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas' stable of running backs was glaringly thin by the end of Tuesday's practice.

Freshman Knile Davis didn't return after he appeared to injure his right ankle during a live tackling drill early in practice. He needed to be helped off the field and stood on the sidelines with a bag of ice taped to his ankle for the remainder of practice.

Sophomore Dennis Johnson looked strong while working with the first-team offense at the start of practice, but he was also unable to finish. He walked gingerly off the field with an apparent leg injury.

And with sophomore Adrian Moore (undisclosed reason) and seniors Brandon Barnett (family matter) and Michael Smith (hamstring surgery) not available, the Razorbacks were limited to just two running backs — sophomores De'Anthony Curtis and Broderick Green — for most of the team drills.

Curtis and Green took turns carrying the load, but the lack of tailbacks didn't seem to change how Arkansas practiced.

"I was running around coaching the perimeter (the wide receivers), so I didn't even notice that," Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said when asked about having only two running backs available.

Line Shuffling

After one week of spring practice, Arkansas' coaches continue to shuffle the offensive line in an attempt to find a cohesive unit upfront.

Sophomores Grant Cook and Seth Oxner continue to battle back and forth at the right guard spot. Oxner was also expected to get some work at center, but junior Wade Grayson has taken most of the snaps with the first-team offense.

Still, Arkansas offensive lines coach Mike Summers wasn't pleased with the effort he saw Tuesday afternoon.

"After a real emotional and intense week last week, I didn't think today's intensity matched that," Summers said. "So we have to step our game up (Wednesday) and realize that we've got 15 days out here (in the spring) and we can't waste any of them."

Surprise Appearance

Former Tennessee defensive lines coach Steve Caldwell, who was a fixture on Phillip Fulmer's staff, was among those in attendance to watch Tuesday's practice.

Caldwell is out of work after not being retained by new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. A rumor surfaced in the offseason that Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino planned to hire Caldwell to his staff, but that didn't happen.

Caldwell and Petrino were both assistant coaches at Nevada in 1994, when Petrino served as the Wolf Pack's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

On The Practice Field

For the first time this spring, the Razorbacks practiced on their two outdoor practice fields located behind Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

During the first week of spring practices, Arkansas held its practices either inside the stadium or its indoor practice facility.

Coaching Clinic

The Razorbacks will hold a coaching clinic on Thursday night and Friday morning. Along with Petrino and his staff, Arkansas State defensive assistant Kevin Peoples and Bentonville coach Barry Lunney will also speak.

The coaching clinic costs $50, and any coaches interested in attending should contact Arkansas director of high school relations Dean Campbell.

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