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Offense produces in 1-on-1

by Tom Murphy | August 11, 2021 at 2:21 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas offense completed 9 of 18 passes, 8 of them for touchdowns, in one-on-one work from the 7-yard line during the opening viewing portion of a scalding practice No. 5 on Tuesday.

The man-to-man matchups favor the offense because there is no pass rush, no field to scan for the quarterbacks, and the receivers don't have to look for pre-snap route adjustments.

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Second-team quarterback Malik Hornsby completed all four of his throws, three of them for touchdowns, to Treylon Burks (fade route vs. Simeon Blair), to Kendall Catalon (in cut vs. LaDarrius Bishop) and to T.J. Hammonds (back shoulder vs. Nathan Parodi). His fourth throw was complete to Darin Turner in tough, tight coverage by Jon Conley, who wrestled him down at the 2-yard line.

Hammonds appeared to use his hands to get separation from Parodi, but cornerbacks coach Sam Carter said, "He didn't extend them."

Starting quarterback KJ Jefferson's passes to open the drill were fades for Trey Knox and Jaquayln Crawford over the left side. Both passes fell incomplete with lead cornerback Montaric Brown and lead nickel back Greg Brooks Jr. in coverage, respectively.

John Stephens Jones went 1 for 2, hitting Tyson Morris on a shallow slant for a touchdown, then throwing an interception to Joe Foucha, who had strong inside position against Chris Harris.

Foucha's pick was the only turnover of the period.

Nick Turner had two pass breakups, and Myles Slusher broke up a Cade Renfro pass intended for Burks, on which there was contact.

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Renfro completed 3 of 4 passes, all three for touchdowns. He found John David White on an out route against Jalen Catalon on which White made the catch inside the 3 and had to extend toward the pylon for the score, hit Warren Thompson, who broke inside versus Hudson Clark, and connected with Bryce Stephens in the corner against Zach Zimos.

Lucas Coley had a bit of bad luck, with Turner breaking up two of his throws and Crawford getting good separation against Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan on a fade but dropping the pass.

Landon Rogers went 1 for 2, his scoring pass thrown to Ketron Jackson on an in cut versus Devin Bush.

Position moves

The Razorbacks were without one veteran tight end on Tuesday while gaining another veteran at the spot, which has undergone consistent transition in the first week of camp for new position coach Dowell Loggains.

Sophomore Hudson Henry was not on the field for practice No. 5 due to a personal reason for which he was excused by Coach Sam Pittman. Meanwhile, senior Koilan Jackson, who had been rehabbing during practice the first four days, was wearing his new No. 88 and working with the group in the final session before full pads can be worn on Thursday.

The group had a new face on Tuesday, as big running back Dominique Johnson went through the paces with the group led by senior Blake Kern. On Sunday, linebacker Levi Draper worked with the tight ends, though he was not with the unit on Tuesday.

"Levi is an awesome kid, and I loved having him in my room," linebackers Coach Michael Scherer said. "I hate that he got moved over, but in being as good of a person as he is, he just wanted to help the team in any way possible."

Scherer wasn't sure if Draper's move was permanent.

Off day ahead

The Razorbacks will not practice today in advance of Thursday's first day in full pads. The open day will be the first of four during the lead up to the season opener on Sept. 4 against Rice at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The other three days without a practice will take place on the next three Sundays, with the first two of those coming after the only two scheduled full scrimmages during the 25 practice days of August.

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Tight bunch

Senior linebacker Hayden Henry touted the linebacking corps as the highest group he's played on, and he credits first-year position coach Michael Scherer, who is just a few years older, with helping create that.

"I haven't had a position coach like him that's just connected with his players like he does," Henry said. "We have a very tight-knit group of linebackers. We're very, very close and it makes the learning environment very fun to be in. We're a real tight group and Coach Scherer is the reason."

The heat is on

The temperature during practice peaked in the mid-90s on Tuesday, and the heat index topped out at 100 degrees for the second consecutive day.

Due to the extreme heat, the Razorbacks practiced inside the Walker Pavilion and on the grass field outside. They avoided the outside artificial turf field because the temperature on it climbs higher than on the grass field with the reflected heat.

Pittman and poll

The Razorbacks received 3 votes in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, which was released on Tuesday. Because coaches' ballots are not made public, unlike The Associated Press poll ballots, until the end of the season, it's impossible to tell if one coach slotted the Razorbacks at No. 23 or three coaches had the Hogs at No. 25 or something in between.

Second-year Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman is one of seven SEC coaches with a vote in this year's USA Today poll. The others are Alabama's Nick Saban, Georgia's Kirby Smart, Florida's Dan Mullen, Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz, Auburn's Bryan Harsin and Vanderbilt's Clark Lea. Current Arkansas State Coach Butch Jones and three former coaches of the Red Wolves have votes in Harsin, Central Florida's Gus Malzahn and Utah State's Blake Anderson.

Additionally Rice Coach Mike Bloomgren and Texas Coach Steve Sarkisian, who are the Razorbacks' first two opponents, have votes in the poll.


Freshmen Chase Lowery and Keuan Parker are working at different positions.

"We're moving those guys, cross-training at corner and nickel," cornerbacks coach Sam Carter said. "So we're excited about about both of those guys."

Redshirt sophomore Hudson Clark said he likes what he's seen from the freshmen.

"I've been very impressed with them," Clark said. "They've been working their butts off. We've kind of been taking them under our wing ... I think they've come a long way."

Pool player

Linebacker Bumper Pool can play a little pool as well.

"I guess to his name, he does do good enough," linebacker Grant Morgan said. "Yeah, that's all I can say. He does good enough. He doesn't do too good when me and Hayden [Henry] are against him, but he's been on a little hot streak here recently."

Morgan said Pool has benefited from having quarter John Stephen Jones as a pool teammate.

"John Stephen's a little pool shark, so you've got to watch out for him," Morgan said. "But Bumper, he just rides along on John Stephen's coattails, I guess. You can tell him I said that, too."

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