Razorbacks football report

Winston steps up for Wise

Arkansas defensive lineman JaMichael Winston participates in a drill Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. during practice at the university football practice field in Fayetteville.
Arkansas defensive lineman JaMichael Winston participates in a drill Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. during practice at the university football practice field in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Defensive end JaMichael Winston might be a backup heading into his senior season, but the 6-4, 260-pounder showed Saturday he still can be a playmaker.

With Deatrich Wise missing the scrimmage to attend his grandfather's funeral, Winston moved into the starting lineup and had 5 tackles for losses totaling 26 yards, including 4 sacks.

Coach Bret Bielema said he talked to Winston about his technique after Friday's kickoff luncheon.

"I said, 'Man, when you play with your hands, and you strike where we're supposed to strike and keep your eyes where they need to be, you're a very, very good player,' " Bielema said. "I think he knows that now. It's taken him a little bit of time.

Saturday scrimmage links

http://www.wholehog…">Freshmen QBs get work in Peavey's absence

http://www.wholehog…">Injured players get light day

http://www.wholehog…">Offensive line taking shape

http://www.wholehog…">Observations and notes

http://www.wholehog…">Unofficial stats

http://www.wholehog…">Depth chart

"His attitude has been great. He's probably one of my favorite players to go to and bounce ideas off. He's got good leadership skills. To lose Deatrich and have a guy continue to play like that, it shows you the kind of depth we have."

Bielema said Arkansas was allowed under NCAA rules to pay for Wise's travel expenses for his grandfather's funeral.

"Him and his granddad were very close," Bielema said. "It wasn't something unexpected, but it was something that the reality of it hit. Give him our thoughts and prayers."

Getting closer

The starting offensive line Saturday was, left to right, Dan Skipper, Hjalte Froholdt, center Frank Ragnow, Jake Raulerson and Colton Jackson.

Bret Bielema said that line isn't etched in stone, but he believes Jackson and Raulerson have settled in on the right side. Skipper, Froholdt and Ragnow seem entrenched at their spots.

"They've had that rotation the last two or three days, and they keep getting better at it," Bielema said. "Colton over on that right side seems to be a little bit more comfortable. Skipper definitely looks better at left. I'm not locking it in 100 percent. We'll wait until we see the film."

Injury update

Offensive lineman Jalen Merrick missed the scrimmage with a concussion, but the redshirt freshman should return to practice Tuesday, Bret Bielema said.

Tight ends Austin Cantrell (groin) and C.J. O'Grady (knee) didn't practice, but their injuries aren't considered serious. Bielema said the decision was made to give Cantrell a few days off for his injury to heal, and he should be ready to practice this week. O'Grady has been slowed by tendinitis but is expected to practice Tuesday.

Tailback Kody Walker didn't practice as a precaution with a sore foot.

Receiver Keon Hatcher, tailback Devwah Whaley and tight end Anthony Antwine practiced in green no-contact jerseys due to minor shoulder injuries.

Tailback T.J. Hammonds, who underwent minor knee surgery last week, has started to run in a pool and might practice Tuesday, Bielema said.

Receiver Dominique Reed (ankle) has done well in rehab, Bielema said, and is likely to resume practicing this week.

Safety Micahh Smith has undergone surgery for a small meniscus tear in his knee.

"He will actually probably join us game week," Bielema said. "He might be a redshirt guy. We'll see how fast that heals up."

Harris coming

Freshman De'Jon Harris showed Saturday why he was promoted to second-team middle linebacker.

Harris had seven tackles, including a sack for a 7-yard loss, and a quarterback hurry.

"Just a very active player," Bret Bielema said.

Burlsworth movie

The Razorbacks watched the movie Greater on Friday night. It's the life story of the late Brandon Burlsworth, who came to Arkansas as a walk-on and developed into an All-American offensive lineman and a third-round NFL Draft pick.

"I'll tell you what, it touched my heart," Bret Bielema said. "I've known about Brandon, the story, ever since I got here. It's one of the things I educated myself on, being a former walk-on. ... I knew the whole story but I didn't know all the little details."

Bielema said the Razorbacks "were just locked in, so respectful," while watching the movie.

"I would definitely say it's a must-see. I mean, in Arkansas everybody will love it, but if you're a college football player, a man or woman of faith, the values that that kid had and shared and the environment he overcame, and how he persevered was awesome."

Kick perfect

Cole Hedlund and Adam McFain combined to go 9 of 9 on field goals Saturday.

Hedlund hit from 28, 36, 45 and 48 yards. McFain made his kicks from 26, 30, 37, 39 and 48 yards.

McFain handled kicking duties in the latter part of the 2014 season, but Hedlund won the job last year and has held onto it, Bret Bielema said, with his performance in camp.

"I think that settles it that Cole will be our 1 and McFain at 2," Bielema said Saturday.

McFain has done well on kickoffs, Bielema said, but is still competing with Connor Limpert.

Eye on Dogs

Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said the Razorbacks are locked in on the Sept. 3 opener against Louisiana Tech and nobody else.

"Everybody wants to jump to TCU ... jump to Ole Miss and Alabama and LSU and Florida, the games here, but we're concentrating on La. Tech," Bielema said at Friday's kickoff luncheon. "Skip Holtz is a tremendous football coach I've known for a long time. They're going to come in here ready to rock and roll. They have a lot of very, very good players returning."

No rookies

The offensive line has several inexperienced players on its two-deep, including sophomores Hjalte Froholdt, Zach Rogers, Brian Wallace and Johnny Gibson, junior college transfers Deion Malone and Paul Ramirez, and redshirt freshmen Colton Jackson and Jalen Merrick.

"You may be a newcomer, but we're 18 or so practices in, so you're not a rookie anymore," offensive line coach Kurt Anderson said. "You've got to deal with the adversity, you've got to be ready to go, and I think we're getting there."

Extra points

• Bret Bielema will be the featured speaker for Monday's first meeting of the season for the Little Rock Touchdown Club.

• The Razorbacks will not practice today or Monday, which is the first day of classes.

Sports on 08/21/2016

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