Warren Boys Enjoying Success Together

FAYETTEVILLE — Jarius Wright's nickname for Greg Childs is "G-Money." Childs refers to Wright simply as "J."

They have a friendship that dates back to their time at Warren High, where Wright was the speedy wide receiver on one side of the line of scrimmage and Childs was the tall target on the opposite end.

In only two years, they've gone from Warren to Fayetteville now to the front of pack in the Southeastern Conference.

Heading into Saturday's game at third-ranked Alabama, Wright and Childs are the SEC's top two receivers at 123.5 and 95.0 yards per game, respectively. Not bad for two sophomores from a city with a population of around 6,000.

"It's been a good road. I feel like nothing's changed since he's starting now," Wright said. "We both started in high school on opposite sides, and now we're both starting in college on opposite sides.

"When it comes down to it, we feel like we can trust each other."

In Bobby Petrino's Pro Style offense, it's not uncommon for an Arkansas wide receiver to have a big game one week and then another playmaker get the bulk of the catches the following Saturday.

Over the first two games of the season, Wright and Childs have taken turns having breakout performances.

Wright was Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett's favorite target in the season opener, setting career highs with six catches for 139 yards in a 48-10 win over Missouri State in War Memorial Stadium.

Childs was the breakout star of Saturday's 52-41 loss to No. 21 Georgia that lasted nearly four hours and amounted to a shootout between Mallett and Bulldogs quarterback Joe Cox.

"I really can't say enough about him," Petrino said of Childs. "I think he's turning into a real receiver that you can count on every play."

The sophomore caught five passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns against the Bulldogs, his first score coming on a one-play drive toward the end of the first quarter when he dove in the end zone to make an impressive 30-yard reception.

ESPN replayed the highlight of Childs' diving catch, and it was named Saturday night as one of the top plays of the day. It didn't take long for his friends, family members and even a few distant acquaintances to compliment him on the catch.

"I got too many phone calls. Before the game was over with, I had like 50 missed calls," Childs said, smiling. "People were calling me out of the blue, and when I was trying to take a shower, people were texting me and things like that.

"I mean, it was a great feeling to be able to catch the ball and Ryan put it in the perfect spot. He put it where only I could get the ball, not the defender. He made a perfect throw, so I had to produce."

Childs and Wright appear to be as different as wide receivers come. At 6-foot-3, 217 pounds, Childs is five inches taller and 37 pounds heavier than the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Wright. Childs is listed as Arkansas' starting "X" receiver; Wright is the starting "Z" receiver.

During the recruiting process, Wright said he and Childs often talked about Arkansas and asked the other one for his opinion on the Razorbacks. But neither of them came out and said that they should follow one another to Fayetteville.

"At the end, we just both ended up here," said Wright, who has 10 catches for 247 yards and one touchdown this season to Childs' nine receptions for 190 yards and two score. "We're both enjoying our stay here."

Childs, however, had a rough spring that left his future with the Hogs in jeopardy. He was limited in spring practice because of pneumonia, and according to Petrino, the sophomore was dealing with academic issues.

"This spring I had gotten sick. I had pneumonia, so I couldn't really practice spring ball," Childs said. "I didn't have a chance to be out there with my team during spring ball. I practiced maybe one week, one full week."

It took a visit from Childs' parents for the wide receiver to get refocused and dedicate himself to the Razorbacks.

"I thought his parents were real strong and came down here and gave him a little hard love and made him fight through it," said Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who also coaches the team's wide receivers. "Definitely, that's been a great blessing for all of us because he's playing real well right now."

For Wright, he's glad to have Childs again standing with him on the line of scrimmage. And after two games, their names are next to one another on the SEC's receiving list.

"You feel like you've got a friend on the other side that he's going to run his route full speed to get me open or not to get me killed," Wright said. "That makes a big difference."

Tale of the Tape

Jarius Wright Greg Childs

Sophomore Class Sophomore

5-foot-10 Height 6-foot-3

180 pounds Weight 217 pounds

"Z" receiver Position "X" receiver

10 Catches this season 9

247 Yards this season 190

1 Touchdowns this season 2

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