FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — There’s a good news, bad news situation going on with Arkansas senior wide receiver Jared Cornelius.
The bad news is he’s currently out of spring practices due to a hamstring injury. The good news being he doesn’t exactly need the practice time.
Cornelius is taking over a leadership role as the Razorbacks’ most-experienced returning receiver. He was expected to eventually be limited throughout the spring anyway as a precautionary measure.
“He had a hamstring that he pulled slightly on Tuesday, so he didn’t practice today,” offensive coordinator Dan Enos told reporters Thursday. “I don’t know what the prognosis is on how long he’s going to be out. But I know we’re being very cautious with him, because he’s played a bunch and he knows what we’re doing.”
Cornelius was third on the team last season with 515 receiving yards. He caught 32 passed, four of those going for touchdowns. At one point last season, he had three consecutive games over 100 yards receiving. Two of those performances came against Texas A&M and Alabama.
Pro Football Focus tabbed Cornelius as their first-team all-SEC slot receiver. The site stated he was second in the conference with 2.54 yards gained per route during the regular season.
During his breakout junior season, Cornelius considered leaving for the NFL before announcing in December he would return to Arkansas.
Enos said junior college transfers Jonathan Nance and Brandon Martin, sophomore T.J. Hammonds and redshirt freshman Jordan Jones are getting more opportunities with the first team now that Cornelius is sidelined.
“I tell (wide receivers coach) Michael (Smith), we don’t care if they are with the ones or the twos because we don’t know who it’s ultimately going to be yet,” Enos said.
“The one thing when (starting quarterback) Austin (Allen) is out there, we want guys to know where to line up and what to run. That’s the measuring stick. If they don’t know that, we cant put them with the ones. I don’t think we’ll know anything by the end of spring with those guys. It will be a continual process. Jared Cornelius knows the offense and can play all positions. He’s going to be there. The rest of the guys, it’s going to be a continual process through the summer and fall camp. I think at the end of the process, we’ll have some good players.”