Spring ball: Intense staff pushes Hogs mentally; QBs stay sharp

Spring ball: Intense staff pushes Hogs mentally; QBs stay sharp

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FAYETTEVILLE - It was a lighter practice physically Friday for the Razorbacks, but the coaching staff heaped a lot on them mentally heading into Saturday morning's scrimmage.


 LB Ross Rasner
"Coach (Bobby Petrino) has been on us about trying to push them, too," Arkansas special teams coach/outside linebackers coach John L. Smith said. "Each football team is different. Each has a different personalty. This team has a totally different persnality than last year's team. So he is trying to develop more leadership from within and get them mentally tough."

Smith praised senior Bret Harris, currently running first team at weakside linebacker.

"His last scrimmage was the best one he's had since I have been here," Smith said. "He's running around and hitting some people. He's got some speed. He's got the ability and is very intelligent. He's got to pull the trigger a few more times, but his last scrimmage was the best. Now he's got to come tomorrow and ring the bell again."

Smith also said there are packages for top outside linebackers Jerico Nelson and Ross Rasner to play simultaneously. "Jerico is a great player," Smith said, "and Ross is becoming a really good player."

Cornerback Darius Winston (Helena) practiced Friday after a two-day absence. Winston worked second-team field cornerback while senior Greg Gatson worked first team.

Senior incumbent field cornerback Isaac Madison is dressed out but not engaging in full contact drills since he was injured last week.

Quarterback Tyler Wilson (Greenwood) and freshman receiver Marquel Wade hooked up on a beautfiul 49-yard touchdown pass and a nice pass over the middle. QB Brandon Mitchell broke a nice run then enhanced it with a nifty option pitch to running back Knile Davis.


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