Greg Childs has become a better student – on the football field.
After a year of stumbling through the Arkansas offense, Childs has taken a new approach. In doing the so the Warren native has caught the eye of Razorback coaches.
"He's working hard and he's really trying to learn the offense," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "Last year as a freshman I think he looked forward to someone telling him what to do every play. Now he's really studying; he's big, strong, physical. His attitude has been great. He's better conditioned and doesn't get as tired. I couldn't be more happy with him."
Childs jump-started his productive off-season with an impressive performance in the Razorbacks' spring game in April. Childs caught four passes for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns working with the second-team offense.
"I had a good spring but I had been sick so I hadn't had the chance to do as much as I could before that game," Childs said. "I wanted to help our side of the ball make some big plays.
"I just got more focused in the off-season. I got more focused in gaining weight, lifting and knowing the playbook, and knowing the calls, and just knowing where I need to do on my assignments.
"I got the height, I got the size and I can jump. I just work every day to constantly try to improve in every aspect of the game…I've become an all-around better player, lifting weights, learning the playbook and taking coaching."
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett said Childs – who has gained 20 pounds since arriving on campus – has become a go-to guy.
"In the spring he didn't quite grasp the entire concept of the offense," Mallett said. "He's a weapon now. Once you get the football in his hands he's dangerous. He's a guy I like to practice with.
"He's picking everything up. He's so athletic and once you get the ball in his hands he's explosive."
Childs said it was all a matter of learning the playbook better.
"The biggest thing is learning the plays and what I've got to do and when you need to do it," Childs said. "If we've got a running play and you've got to push back the safety or run off the corner, you need to know what your assignment is and where you need to be to make the block.
"We have different plays we put in every day. We have plays that we ran last year and this year we have new plays. You've got to understand the concept we have for the plays and certain routes we focus on."
Tyler Wilson said having a guy that understands the routes has made Childs somewhat of a safety valve when a play goes south.
"A lot of times it just depends on where our progressions are," Wilson said. "It's good to have a receiver to go to when things go wrong and break down inside the pocket. I'm glad to have him out there.
"We've got all kinds of weapons. It's good to have an offense like this when a quarterback is out there making throws and knowing we have receivers that can take it to the house when you give them the opportunity.
"He's been doing his job and making good catches. He's got a good body – tall, long and has a lot of potential. Great competition breeds success and he's doing a great job."
Offseason Work Benefits Childs
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Arkansas 9, Mississippi State 2Arkansas is heading to the SEC Tournament semifinals.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 9:20 PM
Nutt seeks apology from Ole MissThe former Arkansas coach is back in the news.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 6:52 PM
Hogs not in most preseason rankingsThe Razorbacks aren't getting much love in the preseason rankings.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 6:44 PM
Arkansas 12, Auburn 0 (7 innings)Arkansas made history Thursday night at the SEC Tournament.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 10:49 AM
Hogs to play Mississippi State in SEC TourneyArkansas knows who its first opponent will be in the SEC Tournament.
Hawgs DailyWednesday at 10:44 AM