By Otis Kirk
Arkansas defensive back Nate Dalton got a personal foul penalty against Tulsa earlier this season.
He was sent straight to the lockerroom by Chad Morris at the time. He hasn’t been back with the team since that time. On Wednesday prior to practice, Morris updated Dalton’s status with the team.
“He has chosen to step back and focus on his academics,” Morris said.
Is he still on the team?
“No,” Morris said. “He has chosen to step back.”
Morris does expect a trio of seniors to return for this game from injuries.
“I thought they moved around well,” Morris said of wide receiver Jared Cornelius and linebacker Dre Greenlaw. “I anticipate them being back and better today than yesterday. These guys should be a full go and ready for Saturday.”
How about defensive back Kevin Richardson and what was his injury?
“He’s back fully right now and ready to go,” Morris said. “It has been his ankle so we anticipate him being ready to go. He worked out yesterday and is back again today.”
Junior running back Devwah Whaley was injured in the Ole Miss game and hasn’t played since following knee surgery. What is his status for this week?
“Right now we’re day to day,” Whaley said. “It’s doubtful for this week. But we anticipate him back hopefully for sure next week.”
Last week during the bye week, Morris and the coaches got the younger players some scrimmage time in each practice. True freshman quarterback Connor Noland started the Tulsa game and helped lead the Razorbacks to a 23-0 victory. Morris talked about what Noland has to do to continue to progress.
“I think consistency, that’s the biggest thing,” Morris said. “We’ve had a good week last week of stepping back and really focusing on ourselves as we do each week, but last week we weren’t preparing for anyone we had extra time to spend with our younger guys. The consistency, but not just him, all of them. We’ll continue to do that still to this day after practice.”
Saturday night’s kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.. Very cold temperatures are predicted for the game. Morris asked what his team was doing to prepare for it?
“We practice out in it,” Morris said. “This is who we are and what we do. That’s a mindset. Right now we’ve got a mindset that needs to be focusing on the Arkansas Razorbacks. Whether it is 35 degrees, three degrees or minus-three degrees it really has no bearing on the way we play. It’s a mindset for us.”
How much emotion around this game being Senior Night and Battle for the Boot?
“I think it’s about us,” Morris said. “The progress of this season and the disappointment we didn’t progress in the manner in which we should be in the last game it’s all about us. It’s strictly about the ability for us to go out and play our best.
“We have yet to do that this year. Put all three phases together. That’s what we need to do. At this point where we are at in our season it’s a three-game season. It’s about can we go out and perform and play for each other and play for the pride of wearing that Razorback on the side of your helmet.”
Cornelius, Santos Ramirez and some of your older guys from Louisiana this is a really special game for them. Did you hear anything from them this week?
“Yeah, I have heard from them the past couple of weeks on it since our bye week,” Morris said. “They have talked about it with that being their homestate it’s a big deal for them. Every game is a big deal, but the opportunity to play a team from your homestate these guys take incredible pride in that.”
Arkansas and LSU will be televised on the SEC Network.