FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas held its sixth practice of 2016 fall camp Wednesday morning.
Wednesday’s session was not open to reporters, but head coach Bret Bielema, offensive coordinator Dan Enos and defensive coordinator Robb Smith met with the media after practice.
The Hogs will scrimmage for this first time this fall on Saturday.
Beanum expected back soon
Bret Bielema expects junior defensive end Tevin Beanum to be back with the team by the time school starts — and possibly sooner than that.
Bielema said he spoke with Beanum on Sunday and that “he was really upbeat about everything.”
During fall camp, the Hogs can only have 105 active players, meaning around 15 guys who are on the team can’t practice until the fall semester actually starts later this month. Bielema said that if a spot opened up on the 105-man roster, Beanum could be back with the team before classes start.
But Bielema added that with Beanum, he wouldn’t be as concerned about him missing time.
“He’ll probably come in and look great with fresh legs because he can run so well,” Bielema said.
Beanum started eight games — and appeared in all 13 — last season and recorded 30 tackles, seven of which were for a loss.
Other things we learned
- The starting offensive line today was, according to Bielema: LT Dan Skipper, LG Hjalte Froholdt, C Frank Ragnow, RG Zach Rogers, RT Jalen Merrick/Brian Wallace. Hog coaches have been changing things up most days throughout fall camp as they try to find the best five offensive linemen.
- Bielema said that after a rough couple of days, his wide receiver group — especially seniors Drew Morgan and Keon Hatcher — have been impressive. The Arkansas receivers are considered one of the best position groups on the team entering 2016 because of their experience.
- Freshmen running backs Devwah Whaley and T.J. Hammonds “will definitely play” this year, while sophomore Rawleigh Williams III — considered the favorite to be the Hogs’ top rusher when the season starts — “has probably gotten a step faster and understands the game a little bit more,” Bielema said.
- Bielema had especially high praise for true freshman fullback Hayden Johnson, saying, “He’s going to play and he’s going to play well. For a guy that’s played a lot of D-line, he catches the ball well out in the flat, does a lot of nice things with the ball in this hands. In addition to yesterday, we ran quite a few series of inside drill, and he just got after people, our No. 1 defense, pretty good. So I’m very impressed with him.”
- Bielema on linebacker Josh Williams: “There’s an MVP in my mind. That’s a guy who has overcome every obstacle. I talked to him about the ability to play fullback. He got in the middle of a drill we did yesterday and he knocked Jack Kraus into next week on just a little step punch. … His temperament is unbelievable. The day he’s done playing football I’m going to hire him as a coach. He embodies everything you want a coach to have.”
- Enos said that he hasn’t decided on a No. 2 quarterback yet, adding that “no one’s separated themselves yet. I was hoping by the end of this week we’d have guys separating in that area and we haven’t had that yet.”
- Smith said that Tuesday’s practice was a “big breakthrough” for sophomore Randy Ramsey, who has switched from linebacker to defensive end. Ramsey was put back on scholarship earlier this week after missing all of last season due to academic issues.
Quote of the day
- Today’s honor is shared between Bielema and longtime Arkansas Democrat-Gazette beat writer Bob Holt, who shared this exchange Wednesday.
Bielema, on Saturday’s scrimmage: “We’ll tackle everybody. We’ll tackle you if you get out there.”
Holt: “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”