FAYETTEVILLE — Just four practices in, Arkansas football is still in the experimental stage of spring ball.
The Razorbacks have used a different combination of offensive linemen with the first-team offense in each of the three practices open to the media and are also continually shifting other players between the first, second and third units.
Tuesday’s three-deep depth chart can be found below, but it honestly doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point because it changes every day.
Offensive line is perhaps the most intriguing position because Arkansas must replace three of five starters and one of the returners is definitely changing positions, with Beaux Limmer going from right guard to center.
There’s a chance returning left guard Brady Latham also moves, as he’s gotten a look at left tackle, and there are several other moving pieces, as well. Here’s how the first unit has lined up in the three practices seen by reporters:
|Thursday||Devon Manuel||Brady Latham||Beaux Limmer||E’Marion Harris||Ty’Kieast Crawford|
|Friday||Brady Latham||Patrick Kutas||Beaux Limmer||Joshua Braun||Andrew Chamblee|
|Tuesday||Devon Manuel||Brady Latham||Beaux Limmer||Ty’Kieast Crawford||Joshua Braun|
Not only is that three different lineups, but it’s eight different players getting reps with the first-team offense and only one constant — Limmer at center.
The reasoning behind the movement is two-fold. Pittman and his staff trying to figure out the best combinations, while also keeping everyone happy.
“We’ve played a little bit of musical chairs almost every place,” Pittman said. “Certainly there’s some thoughts behind that. The portal’s one of them, too. You’ve got to keep these kids with ones and different things, keep them alive. You also have to give them opportunities.”
It was interesting to see Braun at tackle because he previously told reporters when he committed that he was exclusively a guard and wasn’t a fan of playing tackle. Tuesday was his first day at the position and Pittman said it was done just to see if it’s an option in the event of injuries and that he is seen more as a guard.
“What we’re doing right now is we’re trying to find out who are top five are,” Pittman said. “More importantly, or as important as that, is we’re trying to find out who that best right tackle is if whomever the starter is gets dinged up.”
Pair of Transfers Shine in 1-on-1s
During one of the periods open to the media, Arkansas did some 1-on-1s between the receivers and defensive backs, with quarterbacks throwing routes.
Early in the period, wide receivers got the best of the defensive backs, but the defense had more success later on.
One of the top plays early on, though, was made by Baylor transfer Lorando “Snaxx” Johnson. He came down with a 50/50 ball intended for Isaac TeSlaa on a fade route thrown by Jacolby Criswell, plus has made other impressive plays so far this spring.
“Snaxx has done really well,” Pittman said. “He’s a good corner now. He’s a good football player. … I’ll tell you what, Snaxx is better than what I thought he was at this point.”
On the flip side, Texas A&M-Commerce transfer Andrew Armstrong has looked really good at wide receiver. His routes in the 1-on-1s were crisp, helping him create separation, and he displayed reliable hands.
Pittman said he’s been clocked at 22 mph on the UA’s tracking system, so he’s also got great speed. The key for him will be continuing to learn the playbook, which should help his speed and route-running skills translate to production.
“Isn’t he smooth? He’s a big, smooth guy,” Pittman said. “The guy can run, he’s big and a good looking receiver. He’s got really good hands. Again, to be honest with you, I think he’s playing a little bit faster in those one-on-one’s than he is in team right now because I think he’s still thinking with his formations and his responsibility.”
Jaedon Wilson Out for Rest of Spring
For the second straight year, a player will miss a majority of the spring after being involved in a car accident. Wide receiver Jaedon Wilson, who had received a lot of praise from Sam Pittman leading up to spring practice, suffered a leg injury in an accident Tuesday.
Last year, tight end Trey Knox missed time with a concussion and wide receiver Jaquayln Crawford had his spring ended early with a broken leg — injuries suffered in separate car accidents.
Pittman told reporters that Wilson will be on crutches for about 10 days and then there’s a six-week recovery time after that, which means he is done for the rest of spring.
“Everything is perfectly fine with him, so I don’t want to scare anybody, (but) he was in a car accident today,” Pittman said. “He’s very, very lucky that nothing was wrong with him more than he cracked his tibia. … But I’ll tell you, if you saw the car – cars – in that (accident), we’re just thanking the Lord that nothing worse happened. I don’t believe anybody was hurt in the other vehicle, as well.”
One other piece of injury news worth mentioning is that defensive lineman Eric Gregory was held out of team drills as a precaution. He is still trying to get back to full speed after having a knee scope following the Missouri game last year.
Even though he managed to play in the Liberty Bowl, Gregory is “not playing as fast as what we feel like he’s capable of doing,” Pittman said. The hope is that he’ll be full-go Thursday, when the Razorbacks are in full pads for the first time.
On a more positive note, defensive tackle Taurean Carter seems to be gaining more and more confidence in his knee as he returns from a torn ACL that kept him out all of last season. He actually landed on the repaired knee during a drill and came through it okay.
“To be honest with you I asked him about it today and he said it was exactly what he needed,” Pittman said. “He needed that hit on there and he was fine the rest of the way.”
Former Coordinator Stops by Practice
A familiar face was on the sideline Tuesday, as former defensive coordinator Barry Odom — and his son, 2025 quarterback Garyt Odom — stopped by practice.
They were in town because UNLV, where Odom is now the head coach, is on spring break. Odom texted a day earlier and asked if it was okay and Pittman was more than happy to oblige.
“When I had done a clinic talk for Nike, it was in Las Vegas and I got a chance to go tour his building with him maybe four weeks ago or something like that,” Pittman said. “It was awful good to see him, and the kids enjoyed seeing him, and I’m awful thankful that he came to practice.”
Odom’s son, Garyt, previously played at Shiloh Christian in Springdale, but has moved to Las Vegas with his dad and is now at Faith Lutheran.
Arkansas Football Depth Chart – Day 4
NOTE: Players are still moving around at this point in spring ball, so you can’t put too much stock into how the depth chart looks on Day 4, but here’s how guys lined up during a team period viewed by the media. Click here for the depth chart from last Thursday.
|QB||KJ Jefferson||Cade Fortin||Jacolby Criswell|
|RB||Rocket Sanders||AJ Green||Rashod Dubinion|
|TE||Nathan Bax||Ty Washington||Luke Hasz|
|WR||Sam Mbake||Tyrone Broden||Landon Rogers|
|WR||Bryce Stephens||Isaiah Sategna||*Chris Harris|
|WR||Isaac TeSlaa||Andrew Armstrong||*Marlon Crockett|
|LT||Devon Manuel||Terry Wells||*Tommy Varhall|
|LG||Brady Latham||Patrick Kutas||Paris Patterson|
|C||Beaux Limmer||*Josh Street||Eli Henderson|
|RG||Ty’Kieast Crawford||E’Marion Harris||Joey Su’a|
|RT||Joshua Braun||Andrew Chamblee||Cole Carson|
- After almost exclusively using 11 personnel (one RB, one TE) last season, it seems like the Razorbacks will be more multiple in their formations and personnel groupings under new offensive coordinator Dan Enos. In this particular team period, the did a couple of reps in 12 personnel (one RB, two TEs) and then a couple of reps in 21 personnel (two RBs, one TE).
- Although he wasn’t out there at first, Tyrone Broden did rotate in some with the first-team offense later in the period. All three running backs got reps with the 1s, 2s and 3s, as well.
|DE||Jashaud Stewart||Trajan Jeffcoat||Nico Davillier|
|DT||Taurean Carter||Marcus Miller||JJ Hollingsworth|
|DT||Cameron Ball||*Kyle Thompson||*Richard Jameson|
|DE||Landon Jackson||John Morgan III||Zach Williams|
|LB||Chris Paul Jr.||Jordan Crook||Kaden Henley|
|LB||Antonio Grier||Mani Powell||Carson Dean|
|NB||Hudson Clark||Jaylen Lewis||*Courtney Snelling|
|CB||Dwight McGlothern||Jaylon Braxton||*Aidan McCowan|
|S||Jayden Johnson||RJ Johnson||Dylan Hasz|
|S||Malik Chavis||TJ Metcalf||*Braylon Watson|
|CB||Lorando Johnson||*Landon Phipps||*Devoncy Maloy|
- As mentioned above, Eric Gregory did individual drills, but did not participate in the team period.
Arkansas Football Injury Report
Here’s a rundown of several Arkansas football players currently dealing with injuries…
- WR Jaedon Wilson (tibia): Suffered a cracked tibia in a car accident Tuesday, will be on crutches for about 10 days, then there’s a six-week recovery time, so he won’t be back during spring ball
- DT Eric Gregory (knee): Limited in team drills because he’s “not playing as fast as what we feel like he’s capable of doing”… Had a knee scope following the Missouri game, but played in the Liberty Bowl
- DB Quincey McAdoo (undisclosed): Pittman expects him to return after spring break, which means he’d miss the first five practices of spring ball
- DB LaDarrius Bishop (knee): Also expected to return after spring break, meaning he’ll miss the first five practices of spring ball
- RB Dominique Johnson (ACL): Won’t be ready until after spring ball, but Arkansas has been optimistic that he’ll be ready to go for fall camp
- QB Kade Renfro (ACL): Was able to throw routes at practice, but still recovering from a second torn ACL suffered early last season
- DB Alfahiym Walcott (undisclosed): Won’t be cleared until this summer, should be good to go for fall camp
- OL Luke Brown (undisclosed): Won’t be cleared until this summer, should be good to go for fall camp
Sam Pittman Press Conference
Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman met with reporters following Tuesday’s practice.
More coverage of Arkansas football from BoAS…