Bret Bielema normally only addresses the media during camp on weekends, but he met with the beat guys on Wednesday this week. Perhaps it’s the start of something new. Here’s a rundown of some of the more interesting notes.
Bret: First half of our first double day. I really liked the energy. They really responded. The attitude, energy and everybody's positive.— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 10, 2016
Yes, a double day. Arkansas is having two-a-days. I’m not totally sure why that was blamed for some of the slow start to last season, but it was. And now the Hogs are back into normal two-a-days. Everyone can calm down.
Bret Bielema, meeting w/media: Drew Morgan & Keon Hatcher in particular have been really impressive among WRs over the course of camp.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 10, 2016
This is what we should be hoping to see. It’s good to know Keon Hatcher is back and healthy. We already knew that from watching him in the spring, but still nice to see.
BB: Rawleigh is probably a step faster than last year— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
I think Rawleigh Williams is one of the most intriguing storylines of fall camp. He was starting to look really good by the time he was injured last year. We know physically he’s back to 100%. Is he there mentally? It takes some players a while to get comfortable going full speed in games again.
BB: I'm very impressed with Hayden Johnson. Really stepped up against #1 defense— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
It appears Bielema finally has his fullback. Ever since Kiero Small graduated after Bielema’s first season, he’s tried several players in that spot the last two years and never really seemed happy with the results.
Bielema: Brooks Ellis and Dre Greenlaw have separated themselves from the other LBs. Think some freshmen LBs might be able to play.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 10, 2016
This is what should happen since Ellis and Greenlaw were really the only two linebackers that played at all last year after Josh Williams was hurt. It would be a shock if they weren’t locked in as starters.
BB: Cole Hedlund has maybe missed 2 kicks all camp— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
I’m basically at the point where I don’t care at all what happens in the kicking game in practice. We always get good reports, and most of them are usually better than “missed two kicks” in nearly a week of camp. Bielema gave Hedlund glowing reviews in spring and then he still missed a few kicks in the spring game. Wait to see what happens in September.
Bret: Wise, Ledbetter, Ellis, Greenlaw, Liddell have been def. standouts among many. Thinks CB Tutt and LB Harris good shot among new guys— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 10, 2016
Bielema: Jake Raulerson has been primarily at center and right guard. He’s still learning our offense for the first time.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 10, 2016
BB: Brian Wallace is genetically gifted. We want to make sure he's in the right position— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
They continue to tinker with the offensive line. As we wrote yesterday, they’ve moved Brian Wallace up with the starting linemen in place of Colton Jackson, who had been with that group. Don’t know what will stick.
BB: Austin Cantrell is really looking good as an in-line blocker. He & Jack Kraus have split time there— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
The battle for that #2 tight end spot continues. They continue to mention lots of players there. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing all of them.
Bielema, in response to @BobHoltADG's question about scrimmage tackling: "We'll tackle everybody. We'll tackle you if you get out there."— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) August 10, 2016
Can’t tackle Bob. He’s a state treasure.
BB: If there is an MVP in my mind, it's Josh Williams. I told him, when he's done playing, I'll hire him as a coach— Razorback Nation (@RazNation) August 10, 2016
Bielema probably will, too. He said the same thing about Kiero Small and Small is back in Fayetteville. Brey Cook is here as well.
Bielema: We expect Tevin Beanum to join us when school starts, if not before.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 10, 2016
Bret: Bret on Sykes transfer to Texas Tech: I didn't talk to Kliff, as you can imagine. David Gibbs and I talked. We're good friends— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 10, 2016
Bielema and Kliff are still on the outs. I do hope they get to play each other again at some point.
Bielema: Jordan Jones will play for us. He’s really turned some heads.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 10, 2016
6 true freshmen Bielema said may play:— Jimmy Carter (@NWAJimmy) August 10, 2016
RB Devwah Whaley
RB T.J. Hammonds
FB Hayden Johnson
WR Jordan Jones
DL McTelvin Agim
LB De'Jon Harris
Some of the new guys aren’t wasting any time. Great to see.