FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Razorbacks football coach Bret Bielema updated the statuses of injured linebacker Dre Greenlaw and tight end Grayson Gunter during his Monday news conference.
Gunter, a Mississippi native who made 12 appearances last season as a true freshman, had shoulder surgery shortly after Arkansas’ Belk Bowl loss to Virginia Tech. He caught one pass for 29 yards in Arkansas’ Nov. 19 win at Mississippi State.
He is one of several players who will compete to replace Jeremy Sprinkle as Arkansas’ primary pass-catching tight end, a position that is always important in Bielema’s offenses.
Bielema said that this spring, Gunter will wear a green, no-contact jersey but will participate in the majority of drills.
As for Greenlaw, Bielema said he expects the junior to be a “mini assistant coach,” working with his fellow linebackers this spring.
Greenlaw was leading the Razorbacks in tackles when he broke his foot in an Oct. 8 home loss to Alabama. He missed the rest of the regular season but returned for the Belk Bowl, where he re-injured the foot.
He had surgery on it again a few weeks after the Belk Bowl loss to Virginia Tech.
“He’s done a really nice job during the winter of just kind of pushing the young guys and getting them to follow in and do some good things,” Bielema said of Greenlaw.
Greenlaw is a former Fayetteville High School standout who started 11 games as a true freshman in 2015.
He recorded 42 tackles, an interception and 2 fumble recoveries in 7 games last year.
Greenlaw is expected to be a key cog in Arkansas’ new-look, 3-4 defensive scheme.
Bielema added that Gunter and Greenlaw are “the only two guys who will really be restricted.”
Arkansas opens spring football practices Tuesday afternoon in Fayetteville. The Hogs’ annual Red-White spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, which is currently undergoing renovations.