Hogs: freshman LB Greenlaw only scratching potential; injury report; more notes
FAYETTEVILLE - In his 35 years coaching linebackers at seven colleges, Vernon Hargreaves had almost seen it all.
Fr LB DRE GREENLAW
But last week, Hargreaves witnessed two things from freshman weakside linebacker Dre Greenlaw he can't remembering seeing before.
During the Razorbacks' 54-46 four-overtimes SEC victory over Auburn, linebacker Greenlaw made 16 tackles to be named the SEC Freshman of the Week, yet Hargreaves graded Greenlaw only 70 percent with 80 percent required for a winning grade.
When not making 16 tackles or breaking up a pass, Greenlaw was one of the two deep men whenever Auburn kicked off.
Ever graded a 16-tackles performance at 70 percent?
"Uh," Hargreaves said pausing after the Razorbacks practiced Wednesday for Saturday's 3 p.m. non-conference game with Tennessee-Martin, "you know I have to think back. It might be close. I can't think of one."
Hargreaves must have startled Greenlaw with the non-winning grade off an award-winning performance.
"I told him you had a heck of a game, but there are a lot of things you can get better at," Hargreaves said. "I think he understands that. You had 16, but you could have had 20. I hate to say that, but that's the reality."
It's a reality the well-grounded freshman accepts whether from Hargreaves, defensive coordinator Robb Smith or the boss Hog, head coach Bret Bielema.
"It was awesome to do that, but like Coach Bielema said, ‘I still have got a lot of work to do,'" Greenlaw said after Wednesday's practice. "I could have had more than 16 tackles, if I had my fundamentals right and my eyes in the right place."
Where does he go wrong?
"Mostly keeping my keys," Greenlaw said. "My keys take me to where I want to go, and every now and then I make a mistake and will be looking into the backfield and I'll go the wrong direction."
Hargreaves does all he can to keep Greenlaw grounded but said the rookie is a marvel, considering he didn't play linebacker until becoming a Razorback.
"You think of a guy who has never played a down there because he has always been back there at safety, and to have success, that's not a bad deal," Hargreaves said. "The good thing is he's got good tools to work with, and I think he wants to have success."
So maybe he'll soon grade out a winner?
Hargreaves smiled. "For us, about 80 is winning," Hargreaves said. "He is on his way."
A LINEBACKER RETURNING KICKS
Hargreaves said he's never coached a linebacker returning kicks. "I don't think so," Hargreaves replied. "Not in a game."
Greenlaw never returned a kick against Auburn, leading to the question if he's just back there to block.
"If that ball is coming to me, I'm returning it," Greenlaw said. "Of course, they want me to block somebody but this team (UTM) they kick it around. They kick it left side, right side, whatever. They kick it around so hopefully I will be able to get a touch and try to something."
A fellow Fayetteville alum, junior starting middle linebacker Brooks Ellis, can't wait to see Greenlaw become the first linebacker he's seen return a kickoff
"That's a first and I will be interested to see what happens this weekend," Ellis said.
Might Ellis audition to return kicks? "No," Ellis said smiling. "That will never be me."
EDWARDS AND JOJO
During Wednesday's SEC teleconference, Bielema was asked to reiterate his possible permanent suspension of redshirt freshman receiver Jojo Robinson because of spotty class attendance, and the head coach hinted that sophomore receiver Kendrick Edwards approaches similar consequences.
"Unfortunately that's going to cost him," Bielema said of Edwards. "There's another guy that's very, very close to that as well. Kendrick Edwards. So those two guys, unfortunately, have to learn their lessons the hard way. The by product is there's been a lot of guys getting good reps. Look at the growth of Drew Morgan (the junior from Greenwood) and in particular Dominique Reed (the junior college transfer and high school alum of Camden Fairview) just continuing to be very, very impressive. Yesterday (Tuesday) Jared Cornelius - J-Red - looks as fast as he's ever looked. He got out there and played extremely well, should be full force."
Cornelius will play Saturday for the first time since breaking his arm during the season's third game.
HATCHER, HOLLISTER RECOVERING
Senior Keon Hatcher and junior Cody Hollister, both presumed out for the season after each broke a foot before the third game in September, are doing some things in practice, Bielema said.
"It's too early to tell how fast they're going to be able to come along," Bielema said. "Cody has no redshirt available. So Cody, if he can go, he's got to play. Keon has an option (to redshirt) in front of him, depending on when he'd get cleared, as to whether he'd redshirt or continue to play."