Going Out First

Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino tabbed sophomore tailback Ronnie Wingo as number one on the spring depth chart, but he knows there are talented backs pushing him hard and will be doing so as spring practice resumes on Tuesday afternoon.

It was not the Saturday morning scrimmage effort that University of Arkansas sophomore tailback Ronnie Wingo had envisioned for himself.

Listed as the first-teamer on the spring depth chart, Wingo had just 7 carries for 13 yards – including a 6-yard scoring run and a play in which he lost 8 yards because the defense was in the backfield immediately.

On this particular day, there were none of the long runs that helped him in rolling up 319 yards and 3 touchdowns on 49 carries as a rookie.

"I think I did okay (in the scrimmage), but I was hoping for some bigger runs and some bigger plays," Wingo said. "I ran the ball hard on the goal line down here and I scored. I think I did some good things, but I have still got to work on some of those different little small things."

Wingo joins Knile Davis, Dennis Johnson and Broderick Green in trying to be the UA starter this season – although that could be a rotating deal according to Razorback running backs coach Tim Horton.

Johnson had 76 yards on 9 carries on Saturday while Green had 10 totes for 38 yards and Davis 10 rushes for 24 yards.

All of those will get back at it today as Arkansas gets in its fifth of 15 spring practices.

"We are still going to see if the cream will rise to the top," Horton said. "You would like for one or two to get head and shoulders above the others, but if they don't we will play all four of those guys and go to war with them and feel great about it.

"The thing that is so special about them is they are competitive guys, but at the same time they are team guys," Horton added. "It is a good situation and we have just got to get better each week."

Wingo did take the first team nod given to him by Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino as an honor.

"That was big confidence booster," Wingo said. "I think you have to have a lot of courage to put me in there because I only started probably like one game and it wasn't even in the backfield. He has got a lot of belief in me and confidence to put me back there."

He accepts that everyone is going to play.

"We are all going to play, they tell us that all the time, but just somebody's got to go out there first," Wingo said. "So we are all just competing to see who goes out there first. We are all going to play. We are all going to get our chances to run the ball and get our chance to do our thing. We just have to compete in spring ball and in fall camp."

It helps that the four athletes are friends.

"We get along real well," Wingo said. "We hang out together outside of football. We are always together and taking up for each other. It is a good friendly competition."

Wingo said he just tries to go in with the same mindset each day.

"I am just going in day in and day out and trying to compete with the other three guys," Wingo said. "Just don't think about it too much and just continue doing what I am doing."

Wingo said that having the pads on and getting to scrimmage at the end of the first week was welcomed.

"It make it a lot funner because we all want contact and look forward to the scrimmage, going against the defense with a little trash talking before it," Wingo said. "It is always fun to get out here in pads and scrimmage."

Horton said everybody has an equal chance.

"It is an or, or, or," Horton said. "To be honest you can shake them and roll the dice. After day three I would have said…Broderick had the best day. Today, without watching the video, I think Dennis did some good things. I don't know we are at the point right now where we can say this guy is the first team guy. There are still four guys."


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