By Otis Kirk
Arkansas will complete its seventh practice of the spring on Wednesday before breaking for several days.
Spring break at Arkansas is next week so the Razorbacks will observe that before returning to finish up the drills. Chad Morris gave his thoughts on Monday about Arkansas finishing basically half the spring drills before the break.
“Yeah, we’ll come out Wednesday with what we call a half-practice, half-scrimmage,” Morris said. “The second half of practice will be a live scrimmage. Then we’ll get out, meetings and then break for spring break. Just get away from it a little bit, come back and know that we have to finish spring out strong.
“We’ll have four practices the next week we get back. We’ll go Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a big scrimmage on Saturday. Then obviously the following week being the spring game. I just think it breaks the monotony of it a little bit. I’ve done it several ways and this has been very productive for us in the past.”
Arkansas held its first major scrimmage this past Saturday. Morris reflected on that as well as Monday’s drill.
“Saturday was a big day for this program,” Morris said. “A lot of people on campus, a lot of recruits and parents. It was a very impactful day for the history of our program and for us to come out and scrimmage and have the energy level we had on the field Saturday with our players and just focusing on getting better every day. I think it all definitely came together Saturday as what we were trying to do and accomplish and work on our fundamentals. And also put on a who we are and what we’re about with our recruits and our families that were involved.
“So a big day, a 105-play scrimmage Saturday. Did some good things and did some things obviously that we have to continue to clean up. Fundamentals has been the main focus for spring and will be the main focus for spring as we continue to move forward. It’s not about how much we can install right now. It’s what we can do and how well we can do it. So lt was good to see. I thought our energy level Saturday as well as today was good. I think we have to continue to improve. Today was all about coming back out today at practice and just cleaning up some of the things that we had to address and messed up on Saturday and just focused on getting better, a little bit better every day.”
Morris talked about Monday’s practice and what the staff was looking for following a major scrimmage.
“Today was all about coming back out today at practice and just cleaning up some of the things we had to address that we messed up on Saturday,” Morris said. “And just focusing on getting better. Just a little bit better every day.
“Today we did a little bit of live work at the end and it was good to see the energy level. We’ve got to continue being a tougher football team and we’ve got to practice tougher. We’ve got to demand to be tougher. I think we’re definitely stepping in the right direction. It’s that competition helps a lot of things and I think we’re seeing that at quite a few positions right now.”
The wide receivers have seen two newcomers, Trey Knox and Shamar Nash, enter the mix. Morris was asked how the wide receivers have looked this spring?
“First, I’ve seen the guys that have returned return with a different mindset and a work ethic about them, from Mike Woods to Deon Stewart, De’Vion (Warren),” Morris said. “These guys definitely feel the competition that’s pushing behind them. So that’s good. I think that Trey Knox, Shamar Nash have been pleasant additions to this team.
“I think Trey Knox had a really good scrimmage on Saturday. He did some really good things. As we know that’s going to happen, you’re going to get to that little freshman wall at some point in spring ball, but we haven’t added a whole lot, so we hope to keep him as far from that as we can. But he’s continued to impress us. Every day he comes out there, he comes out with a great mindset. Obviously his skill set is off the charts. He’s got a tremendous upside. I think we have. We’ve addressed some areas. We’ve got to continue to address the areas. We’re not nearly as fast as we need to be, but we’re getting there.”
Arkansas is scheduled to practice at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Red-White game is set for Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The schedule for HogFest was announced on Monday.