Sorting out the 5 best receivers in life after Burks: Arkansas football practices insight

photo credit: Nick Wenger

FAYETTEVILLE –Life after Treylon Burks would likely be tough for any program, but Arkansas appears to have enough depth at wide receiver to at least partially fill the void left behind.

During a team segment at Saturday’s practice, the Razorbacks split Warren Thompson and Matt Landers, with Bryce Stephens in the slot. Only Thompson worked with the first offense during the Razorbacks’ first practice at fall camp on Friday afternoon.

Stephens replaced Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood in the starting lineup, while Landers — a transfer from Toledo who started his career in Georgia — replaced Ketron Jackson Jr. Neither Haselwood nor Jackson participated in the segment. team, but they were both fully trained.

It’s probably too early to read too much into the movement of the depth chart, as this only marked the second practice of the camp, but it should be noted that these five receivers worked with the first team offense because the coordinator offensive Kendal Briles previously said he likes to play five games, with three starters and two rotating.

Last season, the five receivers who played the bulk of snaps were Burks, Thompson, Jackson and late super seniors Tyson Morris and De’Vion Warren. Who emerges as the top five receivers is sure to be something worth watching throughout camp.

Currently on the outside, quarterback-turned-receiver Landon Rogers and Jaquayln Crawford joined the second group during the team period seen by the media. The third team consisted of the three true four-star freshmen: Isaiah Sategna, Quincey McAdoo and Sam Mbake. The last of those three actually made a nice catch during the segment.

Here are some other observations from the roughly 20 minutes the media were allowed to watch of Saturday’s practice…

  • During this team segment, the second Rocket Sanders was unsurprisingly the first team running back. In perhaps a bit of a surprise, real freshman Rashod Dubinion was with the 2 and second AJ Green ran with the 3.
  • In a battle between the second team offense and the second team defence, Malik Hornsby was unable to do much on the two passing plays called because the defense came under pressure. Both times, freshman linebacker Jordan Crook tracked it down — first in the backfield for what could have been a sack, then in the flats for what could have come back for little or no gain.
  • Speaking of wide receivers, Isaiah Sategna doesn’t look terribly tall among his teammates, but he runs smooth and showed solid hands in a segment of on-air routes. As expected, he was getting his reps with slot machine receivers.
  • Defensive lineman Dorian Gerald, who originally entered the transfer gate this offseason before opting to return to Arkansas for his seventh year of college football, now wears the No. 23 jersey. He had previously been No. 5, but redshirt rookie Cameron Ball took that number while he was in the portal.
  • Scouts from the Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens were spotted at practice on Saturday.

Here are some injury notes on the Razorbacks based on what was seen during media watch times and what head coach Sam Pittman said in interviews. Best of Arkansas Sports will be updating this section throughout camp…

  • After performing drills during Friday’s media viewing period, linebacker Chris Paul Jr. was relegated to watching from the sideline on Saturday. It is not known what injury he suffers from.
  • Although “ahead of schedule,” according to Pittman, running back Dominique Johnson is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and won’t be able to participate in practice for about a week.
  • He was kept out of most of the Spring Ball for precautionary reasons as he is still struggling with lingering back problems, but right tackle Dalton Wagner has been in practice the first two camp days.
  • As expected, defensive back Jacorrei Turner started fall camp wearing a non-contact green jersey. Pittman told reporters he suffered a shoulder injury that the Razorbacks were cautious of.
  • For a second straight day, the only other player in green was offensive lineman Marcus Henderson. Pittman revealed after practice on Friday that he was struggling with a chest injury. It’s “nothing serious,” but he’ll likely be kept off contact drills for at least a week.
  • Wide receiver Jaquayln Crawford is back with the team after suffering a broken leg in a car accident during spring break that required a rod to be placed in his leg. “I think Crawford did a good job today, fighting through it all,” Pittman said Friday. “He was cleared, I don’t know if he’s 100%, to be perfectly honest with you.”
  • After missing most of the spring ball due to an undisclosed injury, offensive lineman Terry Wells is back in practice. He is a redshirt freshman from Wynne High School who only appeared in one game last season.
  • Quarterback Kade Renfro is still recovering from a torn ACL sustained during bowl practice at Arkansas last December. He’s not expected to be back in action until the first or second game of the season, so he’s been dropped from the camp’s 110-man roster. He will spend his time in the training room in rehab.
  • In a bit of a surprise, one player who makes the 110-man roster is defensive tackle Taurean Carter, who is currently out with a knee injury that required surgery this summer. Pittman did not say what the exact injury was, but told reporters that staff believed it was important for him to attend meetings and practice during camp.
  • Another player missing from fall camp is rookie Chase Lowery, but it’s not due to injury. He has just been left on the camp’s 110-man roster and will join the squad when lessons start on August 22. Kamron Bibby, punter Patrick Foley and defensive linemen Randall Dennis Jr. and Logan Hurst.

The Razorbacks actually started fall camp Friday afternoon and opened the first 20 minutes or so to the media. Pittman and a few players also met with the media afterwards. However, Best of Arkansas Sports was on vacation.

Malik Hornsby and Jaedon Wilson connected on a deep ball for the biggest play during the media viewing period, with the latter getting behind LaDarrius Bishop in coverage, according to WholeHogSports.

It was a big play for Wilson, who is still trying to make a name for himself as a redshirt rookie who hasn’t played at all in 2021.

“I told him nobody knows who he is…I said, ‘Nobody knows who you are, bro,'” Pittman said after practice. “If you want someone to know who you are, you have to do what he did in training today. We challenged him, in a big way, because athletically, length and all those things, he has it all. It should be more regular. »

The Razorbacks split their time between the outdoor grass practice field and the indoor practice field inside the Walker Pavilion, but efforts to stay cool were made difficult by the heat and humidity. The team faced quite a bit of cramp – more than Pittman had anticipated.

He added that there was a lull halfway through practice, but they ended up fighting. There were also a few mental lapses in the two-minute drill, like a quarterback forgetting the down and a wide receiver not going out of bounds, but Pittman wasn’t too alarmed by the mistakes because it wasn’t. that the first day and they were used as a learning experience.

Another big play in the first practice came after the media were asked to leave the practice and featured the other end of the decision-making spectrum.

In a battle between the first-team offense and first-team defense during the aforementioned two-minute drill, cornerback Hudson Clark jumped past a pass from KJ Jefferson for a “decisive” interception.

“He intercepted it and figured out to get on the ground,” Pittman said. “There’s no reason to do anything with it, the game is over at that point. I thought he made a great decision there.

Using Malik Hornsby

One of the biggest storylines to follow throughout camp is how Arkansas plans to use quarterback Malik Hornsby this year.

As he tossed an impressive deep ball to Wilson and took all of the second-team reps at quarterback, Pittman said he also got about 15-20 snaps with the first-team offense at wide receiver. during practice on Friday. That was the plan, but that could change as the season draws closer.

“We know we’re straining him because he’s gotten every second-team quarterback shot,” Pittman said. “However, we can always pull out of him once we feel how good we’re going to play him there. He’s going to play somewhere, so those numbers at wide receiver will probably go up. They didn’t need them today. today because it was the first day, but they will probably increase.

None of Hornsby’s wide receiver snaps came during the media watch period, so it’s unclear if/how much of a rep boost he got on Saturday. [See an update on Malik Hornsby here]

Check out what RB coach Jimmy Smith + running backs Rocket Sanders and AJ Green had to say after Saturday’s practice:

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More from Malik Hornsby at fall camp:

More Arkansas football coverage from BoAS…

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