HOGS: High on Foucha; notes
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas lost fifth-year senior receiver/punt returner Deon Stewart for the season and junior receiver Jordan Jones likely sidelined for several weeks to injuries during Saturday’s scrimmage, but its first-team left tackle and nickel back returned.
Colton Jackson, the fifth-year senior left tackle from Conway, has healed enough from his injured foot to practice Monday. So did previously injured freshman nickel back Greg Brooks.
Jackson’s return to left tackle freed junior college transfer Myron Cunningham to move from left tackle, his post during Jackson’s absence last week, to first-team right guard. Cunningham played some left tackle Monday, Coach Chad Morris said of not overworking Jackson his first day back.
Sophomore Kirby Adcock has worked at first-team left guard in the absence of senior first-teamer Austin Capps. Capps and senior tight end Cheyenne O’Grady underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery last week but are expected to practice game week for the Aug. 31 season-opener against Portland State.
Morris made an unscheduled session with media Monday to address the injuries he didn’t address after Saturday’s scrimmage.
“It’s something that when (Stewart) went down Saturday we didn’t think much of it,” Morris said. “We thought it was just something minor. And then we went that afternoon with an MRI. It’s unfortunate for him. He’s a great young man. A great leader. He will be missed, but he’ll be back better than ever.
"He’ll be back stronger and we’ll go (appealing to the NCAA) after his sixth year of eligibility. That’s something that we will apply for.”
Jones required what Morris called “minor surgery” for a “high ankle sprain.”
“Jordan Jones will be out for two, two and half, three at the most four weeks at the longest with a high ankle sprain, much like Eric Gregory (the freshman defensive end injured the first full week of camp)," Morris said. "Eric should be back within the next week. Trey Knox (the highly touted freshman receiver) was sick today. He should be back in tomorrow.”
Sophomore cornerback Montaric “Buster” Brown of Ashdown, Burks and true freshman safety Jalen Catalon auditioned returning punts, the job Stewart performed last season.
HEAT IS ON
The Razorbacks first late afternoon practice came Monday with the heat index sizzling at 106. Conditions could be similar for the Portland State game kicking off at 3 p.m. at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and televised by the SEC Network.
FOUCHA FETES FRESHMEN
With Stewart and Jones out, Morris must count heavily on freshman receivers, plus sophomore Mike Woods and junior De’Vion Warren.
According to one who scrimmaged against them, sophomore first-team free safety Joe Foucha, the rookies are ready.
“Every day they show me something different,” Foucha said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “The physicality is there. They have long arms. Between Treylon Burks (6-3, 222) and Trey Knox (6-5, 225), the size is there. Those guys are going to explode because they came in ready. They didn’t have to come in and get physical or have to learn the playbook. It’s all there.”
COACHES FETE FOUCHA
For his part, Foucha has impressed Morris and defensive backfield coaches Ron Cooper and Mark Smith.
“He’s really had the best spring and the best fall camp I’ve seen,” Morris said.
Foucha added to that perception Saturday by intercepting a pass. A true freshman last year via New Orleans, Foucha said a full year under strength and conditioning coach Trumain Carroll has improved his speed. But it’s the year’s experience that really has him playing faster.
“Year Two things have pretty much slowed down for me,” Foucha said. “I was always physical, like when they put me in the Razorback Drill or the Champion Drill. But now knowing what the quarterback is thinking, just hiding fromhim that I’m going to the post, or showing I have grown into the player I want to be. I still have more room to go. But this camp is going well for me because the speed has changed.”