FAYETTEVILLE — For the first time this fall camp, Arkansas football was in full pads Thursday afternoon.
The Razorbacks were noticeably more physical during the portion of practice open to the media, especially in the defensive individual drills.
Each group worked on various tackling techniques, including shedding blocks and taking proper angles. The pads were also popping on the offensive end of the field, as the skill guys worked in blocking drills.
“If we had a terrible practice, I’d say it, but this was a wonderful practice,” head coach Sam Pittman said afterward. “We got a lot of things accomplished. It was our first day in full pads. … It was a loaded practice, physical practice.”
Pittman said the team worked on third-and-1, low red zone and goal line situations, as well as some 2-point conversion prep, during the portion of practice closed to the media.
The highlight of the brief team period during the viewing session was a deep ball down the left sideline from KJ Jefferson to Jadon Haselwood. He had to adjust to the ball and manage to reel it in while going to the ground.
Perhaps the most entertaining portion of the viewing session, though, came in the final open period, as the wide receivers and defensive backs went up against each other in a 1-on-1. Here are some tidbits from that:
- Even though he’s still in a green non-contact jersey, defensive back Jacorrei Turner had two really good reps in the 1-on-1s. On his first play, he stuck on the speedy Bryce Stephens and didn’t give the quarterback room to attempt a pass. On the other, he stuck with Harper Cole on a crossing route — which is tough to defend in 1-on-1s — and forced an incompletion.
- Haselwood got open on a corner route against Keuan Parker with ease, hauling in the pass for a rather easy touchdown. He was matched up with Jalen Catalon later and nearly made another circus catch like he did Tuesday, but wasn’t quite able to come down with it.
- Cornerback Hudson Clark has made a couple of really nice plays this camp, but Warren Thompson used a stutter move against him to get open on a slant route and caught the pass for a score. In a rematch between the two later, Thompson once again got inside of Clark and made a contested catch in the end zone.
- Malik Chavis also struggled against the slant, as Matt Landers got inside of him for another easy touchdown. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Dwight McGlothern made a nice play to reach around and break up a slant intended for Ketron Jackson Jr.
- He’s been a little inconsistent, but Jaedon Wilson made another impressive play during 1-on-1s. Despite having LaDarrius Bishop jamming him at the line, he was able to create enough separation to make a tough grab in the corner of the end zone.
- Freshman Quincy McAdoo seems to have really settled in since spring ball, when he was an early enrollee. He was able to lunge and make a really tough catch for a touchdown with Keuan Parker in coverage.
- There were only two true drops during the period. The first was by quarterback-turned-tight end-turned-wide receiver Landon Rogers, who dropped a slant route that hit him in the hands. The other was by Bryce Stephens, who didn’t haul in a curl route. Drops were an issue for Stephens at times last season, but this was the first drop Best of Arkansas Sports has seen from his so far in camp.
Arkansas Football Injury Report
Here are a few injury notes on the Razorbacks based on what was observed during media viewing periods and things head coach Sam Pittman says in interviews. One position, in particular, has been hit the hardest lately. Best of Arkansas Sports will update this section throughout camp…
- [NEW] Redshirt junior defensive tackle Marcus Miller recently had a knee scope that will keep him out of practice for a couple of weeks. Pittman said he expects him back around the start of school, which is Aug. 22. He was replaced on the 110-man roster by walk-on defensive lineman Logan Horst.
- [NEW] Also at defensive tackle, redshirt freshman Cameron Ball has missed the last three practices with what Pittman indicated was a concussion. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he left Sunday’s practice in an ambulance.
- [NEW] Along those same lines, junior college transfer defensive tackle Taylor Lewis was also not at practice and Pittman indicated it was because of a concussion, too.
- [NEW] Offensive lineman Devon Manuel is “beat up” and not 100 percent, Pittman revealed Thursday. He has been the backup left tackle since the spring and was still able to participate in practice, but Andrew Chamblee has gotten some work with the second-team unit in his place, too.
- Although he’s “ahead of schedule,” according to Pittman, running back Dominique Johnson is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and will miss at least the first week or so of fall camp.
- He was held out of most of spring ball for precautionary reasons because of a lingering back issue, but right tackle Dalton Wagner hasn’t missed a rep through six practices and he told reporters Thursday that he feels great.
- Defensive back Jacorrei Turner is still in a green non-contact jersey. Pittman told reporters that he is dealing with a shoulder injury that the Razorbacks are being cautious with.
- The only other player in green is still offensive lineman Marcus Henderson. Pittman revealed after last Friday’s practice that he’s dealing with a pectoral injury. It’s “nothing serious,” but he’s being held out of contact drills for a week or so.
- Quarterback Kade Renfro is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during Arkansas’ bowl practices last December. He is not expected to be back in action until the first or second game of the season, so he was left off the 110-man camp roster. He’ll be spending his time in the training room going through rehab.
- In a bit of a surprise, one player who is on the 110-man roster is defensive tackle Taurean Carter, who is currently out with a knee injury that required surgery this summer. Pittman hasn’t said what the exact injury is, but did tell reporters that the staff thought it was important for him to go through meetings and attend practice during camp.
- Another player missing from fall camp is redshirt freshman Chase Lowery, but it is not due to injury. He was just left off of the 110-man camp roster and will rejoin the team when classes start Aug. 22. Outside of Miller, others left off the 110 are walk-ons: kicker Blake Ford, tight end Hunter Talley, long snapper Briggs Magee, wide receiver Kamron Bibby, punter Patrick Foley and defensive lineman Randall Dennis Jr.
Jadon Haselwood Steps Out of Comfort Zone
Not only does Arkansas have to replace the production of Treylon Burks in the wide receiver room, but also the veteran leadership provided by super seniors Tyson Morris and De’Vion Warren.
The Razorbacks are hopeful they got a 2-for-1 answer in Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood. He’s made some impressive catches that give them hope he can do the former, plus wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton said he’s also filling the latter, as he is “by far” the most vocal leader in the room.
“A really, really smart guy who understands what’s going on around him,” Guiton said. “He steps up and he talks. He’s able to lead guys on.”
What makes that interesting is that Haselwood is a transfer who didn’t join the team until January and he’s not a particularly vocal guy by nature.
“That’s just something for me stepping out of my comfort zone,” Haselwood said. “I know what we need and I know sometimes I have to be the one to do it, even though I don’t want to. But that’s just a role I have to play as a teammate and that’s just me getting better and making the team better.”
Update on Isaiah Sategna
Although the most recent Arkansas football signing class featured three four-star wide receivers, Isaiah Sategna is probably the one fans are most excited about because he played just down the road at Fayetteville High.
A speedster who also plans to run track for the Razorbacks, he is coming along nicely through the first few practices of fall camp.
“Having a really, really good run game, when you stick that ball in the gut of the running back, you get one-on-ones on that perimeter, you need guys that can go stretch the field, and he does that,” Guiton said. “Very, very smart kid that’s picking up on things, learning very fast. Definitely a guy that we’re looking at to keep pushing, keep competing his butt off.”
He was even brought up by Sam Pittman during Thursday’s press conference.
“I think Isaiah Sategna is going to be a good player,” Pittman said. “I don’t know when — it could be Cincinnati, it could be next year, I don’t know — but he’s done a really good job, caught a nice ball today for a touchdown.”
Fastest Arkansas Football Wide Receivers
Speaking of Sategna, he — along with redshirt freshman Bryce Stephens and Georgia/Toledo transfer Matt Landers — is among the three fastest wide receivers on the team, according to teammate Ketron Jackson Jr.
Stephens and Sategna are built similarly, with Stephens listed one inch taller at 6-foot compared to Satenga’s 5-foot-11 frame and both are listed at 173 pounds. The odd ball in that group is Landers, who is 6-foot-5, 203 pounds.
“Matt looks like he’s not even trying,” Haselwood said.
Both Jackson and Haselwood were in agreement that backup quarter Malik Hornsby would also be in that conversation when he shifts out to wide receiver. They were also impressed with how well he does in those situations considering he doesn’t spend a lot of time doing it.
“He’s an athlete,” Jackson said of Hornsby. “He doesn’t work at it. They put him in, he does what he’s supposed to do — catch the ball… Like, we work at it and he’s an athlete, so you put him out there, he’s a threat.”
Check out what Sam Pittman, right tackle Dalton Wagner and defensive tackle Isaiah Sategna had to say after Thursday’s practice:
More coverage of Arkansas football in fall camp from BoAS…