The University of Arkansas coaches may have been pleased with the team's four days of split-squad work that ended up Sunday afternoon, but the players are clearly ready for some full-squad thumping in the morning.
That's when the Razorbacks will go through their first workout with the full squad – a padded up practice that promises some contact.
At least that's what Arkansas freshmen defensive lineman LaCraig Brown is hearing from the vets.
"I am looking forward to it," Brown said after the rookies got their practice four hours after the vets finished up a morning workout. "A lot of the veterans are saying it is going to be really intense. I'm looking forward to it just like I was the first day of practice."
Brown has seen some of the upperclassman workouts so he's got a taste of what it might be like.
"I have got a chance to see some of it, but mostly I get the chance to watch them on film and stuff like that," Brown said. "You can really tell why they call them veterans. There is high intensity in practice and they listen to what the coach tells them. They look real good out there and I am ready to be part of it."
No doubt plenty of eyes will be on Brown and fellow freshmen defensive linemen Byran Jones and Jeremiah Jackson.
"We are catching on so once we get out there with the veterans we won't be that far behind and we will know everything," Brown said. "…In the years to come, it (Brown and Jones) is probably going to be the most dangerous 1-2 punch in the SEC."
Arkansas assistant coach John L. Smith is also excited about getting the full-squad workouts going.
But he is happy that Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino decided to go at it this way – a split squad format that he learned from Smith when Petrino was on his staff at Louisville.
"I think it has been very good for the rookies here," Smith said. "Coach Petrino wanted us to split these practices up for a reason. It allows for individualized coaching. It lets these players know how important they are going to be; maybe not this year, but down the road. That's why we are spending time with them now."
But having the full-squad helps with just getting through the workout per Smith.
"The good thing about that is you have trouble when you are split like that, you actually have to service yourself – which is good and bad," Smith said referring to short lines. "…From that standpoint it will be a lot better. We are going to have a lot of people out there now and so we can service each other. It will help."
The first full-squad workout is set for 9 a.m. on Monday morning with two-a-days arriving on Tuesday.
"Fall camp is fall camp – it is always going to be hard," Smith said. "Now it is going to be even harder. We are going to start getting into some two-a-days. It is more to grab, it is more to learn, it is more to teach. But the good thing is you have a lot of vets that pick it up and pick it up quickly."
O o o
…Freshman tight end Garrett Uekman got some work in at linebacker in the early part of the afternoon workout before getting back to his normal group.
Smith said it was a matter of taking a look at him over there to see if he could get on the field quicker at that position than a talent-filled tight end one.
• Smith is the special team coordinator and said that no one has taken an advantage in either the kicking or punting race.
He did note that he really likes what he has seen from freshmen punt returners Eric Bennett and Marquel Wade, who caught a deep pass from Brandon Mitchell during the practice.
• Coach Smith also said that he would love to have a lot of freshmen on the special teams, but knows that the head coach will redshirt many of those potential candidates.
• If the season started today, Smith noted that the gunners on the punt team would be Ramon Broadway and Jerico Nelson.
Sunday Afternoon Grid Update, 8/8
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