FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks are entering their second week of practices for the 2017 season.
Bielema spoke to the media Monday before the Hogs took the field for their fourth practice of fall camp. Here’s the rundown of what he said:
- Outside linebacker Jamario Bell is having surgery on his foot this afternoon and will be out for the next 10-12 weeks. Bielema says it’s disappointing to have him miss the majority of the season as he was doing well in his switch from tight end to outside linebacker.
- Here’s the extended quote from Bielema on Bell: “The kid hasn’t had an easy road, whether he’s brought it on himself or switching positions from defense to offense and now back. He was really flourishing. I said, ‘Hey, don’t let this one get you. You’ve been battling back from some setbacks and I know 10-12 weeks can sound daunting but let’s get your grades on track.’ He just had the best semester academically he’s ever had. There were a lot of things that were very positive, but I think you’re defined more by your moments of adversity and this is one of them. My heart goes out to him. He’s a likable kid that guys really enjoy him. I don’t think this will be the end to him.”
- Wide receiver Jared Cornelius has been taken off the 105-man roster. Bielema says his back needs more time to heal and they want to get someone else practice time with him out for a while. Wide receiver River Warnock and inside linebacker Tyler Pennington have been added to the 105 with Bell and Cornelius out.
- Inside linebacker Dre Greenlaw will remain limited as a precaution. “We just don’t want to over-tax him.” Greenlaw has had two surgeries on his foot in the past year.
- Bielema on skill players who have made plays so far: At the wide receiver position, Jordan Jones and T.J. Hammonds have stood out. Bielema also mentions Deon Stewart has looked good. At running back, Bielema calls grad transfer David Williams a “great addition” since arriving late in the summer.
- Senior center Frank Ragnow is expected to be active for certain portions of the fall scrimmages. He was held out of the scrimmages in the spring.
- Bielema says freshmen Hayden Henry and Derrick Munson will get some reps with the second team at outside linebacker since they are getting thin with injuries at that spot. In addition to Bell being out, Karl Roesler is limited with a hamstring injury.
- Dwayne Eugene is going to work with the starters for now at outside linebacker. Bielema says it helps that Randy Ramsey, who is essentially a lock to start, can play either outside linebacker spot.
- Bielema says Henre’ Toliver, Gary Cross, De’Vion Warren and Chase Hayden have impressed as kick returners. He adds returning kicks would be the “last place” he’d put Cornelius if he were fully healthy, so it sounds like he may not be returning punts this season.
- Devwah Whaley has been helping David Williams get comfortable since he arrived. Bielema says Whaley welcomed Williams in with open arms. “I think because he realizes how important it is to have a second accountable back to play in the SEC and make the run that we’ve got to make.”
- Freshman Chase Hayden would “be the third guy” at running back right now according to Bielema. Bielema likes how Hayden’s skill set differs from Whaley and Williams, saying he provides a “change of pace.”
- Jordan Jones, T.J. Hammonds and Deon Stewart are the starting wide receivers right now with Cornelius out.