FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas senior cornerback Jared Collins was one of five Razorback defenders to meet with reporters before practice Friday.
He spoke about limiting the kind of big plays that cost Arkansas last season, the depth at cornerback, new position coach Paul Rhoads and his friendship with receiver Keon Hatcher, among other topics.
Q: What do you guys have to do to be more consistent and limit big plays?
A: I think we just focused on every single rep, you know. Every rep is its own play. We just do what we have to do for that rep, put it behind us and go to the next one. I think that’ll help us a lot going forward.
How do you feel about the depth behind you guys in the secondary?
It’s nice knowing that you can have somebody that can come in the game when you’re maybe a little tired and can perform just as well as you did.
You and Keon Hatcher are both from the Tulsa, Okla., area. Are you two close?
Yeah we’re pretty close, coming from the same area. That helps us bond. We talk frequently and he’s just looking to do great things this year.
Have you been impressed by the way he’s bounced back from last year’s injury?
He’s determined to go out and have his best season. You know, last year, his season got cut short and nobody saw that coming. He’s taken what happened and rolling with it. He’s making sure this season is gonna be his best one.
Do you expect to play more man coverage this season?
Yeah I think so. I think our confidence has grown from last year. We’re more confident in our technique, just doing it so long comes with experience. I think the coaches trust us more in man-to-man situations.
What has been your impression of junior-college transfer Britto Tutt?
He reminds me a lot of myself. He’s kinda slim, kinda long and he’s pretty fast, so he can get in and out of his breaks. He goes out there and plays hard every play. He has a lot of heart.
What’s it been like playing for Paul Rhoads?
I think he has a lot of expectations for us. That’s helped us a lot. He also motivates us each and every day. He’s a really intense guy. We can sense that and we can feel that. We take that out there to the practice field because we want to please him.
Does the fact that he’s a former head coach carry extra weight with you guys?
That helps him to know how to communicate with us. He knows how to get things out of people. We respond to that well.