Here are a few quick hitters after going to watch the Razorbacks practice over the weekend.
- It was unbelievable how much energy there was from the coaching staff this weekend. We’re talking about a group of coaches who have been through the wringer the last four months — out there coaching their asses off with no guarantee of anything at year’s end. Call us impressed.
- Somehow the Hogs have managed to accumulate four of the best looking freshmen defensive ends we have ever seen. Taiwan Johnson (6-3, 245), Brandon Lewis (6-5, 235), JaMichael Winston (6-5, 250) and Deatrich Wise Jr. (6-6, 240) are all long and can move. The coaches are already raving about this bunch. There’s no way all four redshirt…Wise and Winston especially.
- We have a new favorite player and he is freshman wide receiver D’Arthur Cowan (6-3, 180). Long, lean and fast, Cowan will assuredly be in the mix to make the receiver rotation. In fact, when the newcomers came together with the veterans Sunday morning, if you didn’t know better, you would have thought Cowan and fellow freshman Keon Hatcher (6-2, 205, Owasso, OK) were two of the vets. Both have NFL-type frames and showed excellent hands in all of the drills.
- A lot was made of running back Ronnie Wingo Jr. taking some reps at wide receiver Sunday. We also saw Dennis Johnson line up out wide a few times last Thursday. Not reading much into this just yet, though. But stay tuned.
- Brandon “Slash” Mitchell continued to look comfortable at receiver. During most practice periods, Mitchell would take a rep or two at quarterback and then move out to the wide receiver line.
- Freshman linebacker Otha Peters (6-1, 230) got some first team reps Sunday with Alonzo Highsmith out nursing a hamstring injury. Peters looks physically ready but appeared lost at times — typical for a newcomer. Coaches, especially Taver Johnson, were giving Peters instruction after every play during the 11-on-11 team session.
- More frequently than last year, Chris Gragg was seen runing some deeper routes in the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 sessions. Whether it was running down the seam or deep crossing routes, Gragg was having his way on Sunday morning with the Hog defense.
Fall camp practices continue Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. at the UA Intermural Fields.