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Bret Bielema Mini Media Tour Recap: Damon Mitchell Staying, Injury Updates, Scheduling Thoughts, More

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With spring practice complete, Bret Bielema has started doing somewhat of a mini media tour to promote the Razorbacks. Here's a roundup of what we've learned.

Seems like it's been a long time since we've seen him smile.
Seems like it's been a long time since we've seen him smile.
USA TODAY Sports Images

Bielema held a press conference in Fayetteville on Wednesday, and also participated in the SEC teleconference and appeared on Finebaum. He's also appearing on local Arkansas sports talk shows in the coming days, I believe. A lot of it is the usual stuff about how he's really happy with where the team is and much more better place than last year and confidence in Brandon Allen and so on and so forth, but there were some interesting bits of news from these appearances.

The biggest news is this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Damon Mitchell seems to be embracing WR. Bielema said he told Michael Smith after the spring he was willing to come back and give it a try.</p>&mdash; Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) <a href="https://twitter.com/NWARobbie/statuses/461581827203813376">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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This is a huge recruiting win for Arkansas. Mitchell is a fantastic athlete who should be able to help the team immediately by playing receiver.

A lot of people expected him to transfer when the coaches moved him from quarterback to receiver in the middle of spring practice because Mitchell apparently was not at all happy about not playing quarterback, but apparently he's decided to stick it out at wideout.

It would have been really disappointing if, after having him on campus for a year and never really hyped as a candidate for winning the quarterback battle, the coaches had been unable to convince him to embrace a new position. It looked like they weren't going to, but it looks like they pulled it off. Can't wait to see what he looks like after a full summer and fall camp working at the position. Sure, the coaches and many fans were hoping he'd want to play safety, but just keeping him on the team is a good thing. Big win for Arkansas. 1-0.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bielema said RB coach Joel Thomas has labeled his three running backs as 1A, 1B and 1C. &quot;They&#39;re all starters in our mind.&quot;</p>&mdash; Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) <a href="https://twitter.com/NWARobbie/statuses/461583183692443648">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Worried that the coaches won't be able to keep all three running backs happy? Understandable, but it will probably work out. Check out Scottie's column on Bielema's history of working with three running backs.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bielema on Alex Collins: &quot;Alex might have had his best month in our program.&quot; Bielema said they just had to &quot;wake him up&quot; in other areas.</p>&mdash; Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) <a href="https://twitter.com/NWARobbie/statuses/461582630035542017">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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NO NO NO HE'S UNHAPPY AND GOING TO TRANSFER AND HE'S SUSPENDED FOR LIKE, EVER! GAH! (all caps is my Hogville font)

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Coach B: If the season started today, would be Smothers at C and Ollison at LG. Ollison is best option when he is being &quot;Good Grady.&quot;</p>&mdash; Hawgs Illustrated (@HImagazine) <a href="https://twitter.com/HImagazine/statuses/461583557542940672">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Coach B: Going to take a look at the 3-4 freshmen for the OL when they come in. Wallace, Ragnow, Tretola and Pruitt - if he makes it</p>&mdash; Hawgs Illustrated (@HImagazine) <a href="https://twitter.com/HImagazine/statuses/461583796102393857">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Pruitt&#39;s issue is apparently ACT. He just took one and will have another chance in May.</p>&mdash; Hawgs Illustrated (@HImagazine) <a href="https://twitter.com/HImagazine/statuses/461586431295885312">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Coach B: If Jovan Pruitt doesn&#39;t make it, we have a plan in place to send him to a junior college.</p>&mdash; Hawgs Illustrated (@HImagazine) <a href="https://twitter.com/HImagazine/statuses/461586314778120192">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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That's one thing about spring practice and the Red-White game. The coaches were messing around with the left guard and center positions but were clearly hoping some of the newcomers could help fill those roles. We did not see the 2014 Arkansas offensive line this spring.

Hopefully, Jovan Pruitt makes the required score on the ACT.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Tevin Mitchel had routine shoulder surgery and is expected back for camp or early in camp; DE Brandon Lewis had his clean-up surgery today</p>&mdash; Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) <a href="https://twitter.com/TomMurphyADG/statuses/461584159128166400">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bielema: Mitchell Loewen will work as a D-End this summer some and roll it into the fall. Flowers might take some TE work</p>&mdash; Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) <a href="https://twitter.com/TomMurphyADG/statuses/461587313575727104">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Has AJ Derby knocked Lowen out of the tight end rotation? Possibly. But I don't understand Trey Flowers possibly getting some work there. That doesn't make much sense to me. It's not like Arkansas is in desperate need of tight ends.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>ICYMI- Our interview with <a href="https://twitter.com/BretBielema">@BretBielema</a>. AUDIO: <a href="http://t.co/8cEZ8OvfWv">http://t.co/8cEZ8OvfWv</a></p>&mdash; Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) <a href="https://twitter.com/finebaum/statuses/461969941533839360">May 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Really thought <a href="https://twitter.com/BretBielema">@BretBielema</a> crushed it during our interview. Much respect for the way he handled everything.</p>&mdash; Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) <a href="https://twitter.com/finebaum/statuses/461951985399660544">May 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

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If you've been watching Bielema for a while now, there's not a lot new here. He did address the 8/9 game SEC schedule issue and came out in favor of the 8-game schedule. He mentioned Arkansas' upcoming games against Texas Tech, TCU, and Michigan as benefits of the 8-game schedule and how he would hate to miss those opportunities - and he's really looking forward to those games against Michigan.

I still maintain you wouldn't have to lose those games if you played a 9-game SEC schedule, but whatevs. All I want is for good, interesting games! Is that too much to ask?

Bielema also discussed recruiting, Gus Malzahn and opening with Auburn, and the overall state of the Arkansas program with Finebaum.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bielema: Hog-a-nese is a word I created. It&#39;s like Japanese, Chinese, Lithuanese ?? Huh?</p>&mdash; Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) <a href="https://twitter.com/TomMurphyADG/statuses/461585384120397824">April 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Always has to be something wierd.