FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas senior Jeremiah Ledbetter started 12 games last season as a defensive end, but moved to tackle last spring. He is currently slated to play the “3-technique” position, which is designed for a more athletic, pass-rushing tackle.
The news that defensive end Tevin Beanum isn’t with the team right now, though, makes things a tad more complicated, and shakes up a defensive line unit thought to be one of the best position groups on the team.
Beanum started eight games last season and was slated to be a starter at defensive end this year, as well.
Ledbetter, who transferred to Arkansas from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College before last season, was one of five Razorback defenders to meet with reporters before practice Friday. Here’s a look at some of what he had to say:
Q: How was the first practice of the fall Thursday?
A: I think it went pretty good, as far as a developmental standpoint. Young guys coming in and flying around and doing things that need to be right. There’s still work that needs to be done but it’s just day one. I think we were pretty good for day one.
A lot of people are asking questions about your offensive line’s inexperience. Going up against them in practice, do you see potential in that group?
I think so. Those guys, I think they’re gonna be fine. Just small details they have to work on, them coming together and bonding as a unit. I think they’ll be perfectly fine.
How will Tevin Beanum’s absence affect you guys?
We still feel good about where we stand, but Tevin was a big part of this defense. With his situation, he has to deal with that and we’re gonna continue to do what we need to do from a defensive standpoint. That is a big loss, but he’ll be back. He’ll be back.
Coach Bielema said yesterday that you could still go back and play that position if needed. Is there a lot of versatility among the defensive linemen?
I think so. There’s many guys on the defensive line unit that can play multiple positions, like Coach B said, I can move back to that point. Maybe Deatrich (Wise) and some other guys in that spot. This line has great depth to it.
Have you gotten more comfortable playing the 3-technique role?
I have. I think me doing it in the spring and now coming and doing it in fall camp, I think I’m better at it now than I was in the past.
How do you see yourself playing this season?
I think I’ll have a pretty good season. Me using my quickness on the inside and just trying to get more sacks, using my quickness and my strength to sack the quarterback more.
What have you seen from Randy Ramsey since he moved to the D-line?
He’s looking pretty good. Him coming to the R position, we’re kinda lacking depth, he’s looking pretty good. Just has to listen to more details and more precise measurement in his alignment. He has the height, the speed and the quickness for that position. I think he’ll be perfectly fine for that position.