The controversy surrounding HB 1249, the bill that would allow concealed carry into sporting events in Arkansas, has gotten plenty of national attention. As we’ve covered, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement with his concerns. Now a couple of players have expressed their issues with the bill. Bijhon Jackson and Rawleigh Williams III, who’s dad is a police officer, both said they would be uncomfortable with the idea of the bill passing, and hope it won’t come to fruition. Bret Bielema also made it clear that he was worried about his players’ safety as well should the bill pass.
Moving to on the field questions, as spring ball gets underway, its a chance to speculate who could have a bigger impact next year. With the switch to the 3-4 scheme, Bijhon Jackson appears to be excited about his new role and is ready to excel in it. Bielema talked about challenging Jackson this winter and is pleased with the dedication he’s seen.
Finishing, a word that Arkansas fans won’t associate with the 2016 season, is now the central focus for the team. Here’s a look at how that came into play during the team’s winter workouts. Strength coach Ben Herbert ramped up the intensity this year, and the team responded. There was a lot of talk from the players about both intensity and accountability being raised this offseason.
An interesting note from a recent interview with Bielema, he said there could be a chance we see Frank Ragnow line up at defense in the new scheme. Not surprisingly, the comment was met with skepticism. Bielema also didn’t say it was definitive, that it was an option he was exploring, but will be something to keep an eye on in the future.
After two weeks of SEC play, the Hogs find themselves at the top of the SEC West in baseball. One of the reasons for the improvement has been the influx of left handed pitching. In recent years Arkansas has had a hard time finding production from the left, but pitchers like Kacey Murphy have been important in the bullpen this year.
The AP came out with a list of 100 best college basketball programs based on their polls. Arkansas came in at 31st and fifth in the SEC. Now this only takes into account time spent in the AP Poll, it doesn’t factor post season success in any way. Add that in and the Hogs are most likely passing Alabama and Missouri on that list.