HOGS: Receivers finally healthy; notes
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas comes off last week’s open date with its receiver rotation restocked for Saturday night’s SEC game at Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky (2-3, 0-3 in the SEC East), also open last week, and the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2 in the SEC West) collide at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on SEC Network TV from Kentucky’s Kroger Field.
Arkansas senior left offensive tackle Colton Jackson of Conway and junior center Ty Clary of Fayetteville were in concussion protocol last week and still not cleared to practice Sunday.
The Razorbacks used Monday as their NCAA-mandated one day a week off with hope that Jackson and Clary could practice Tuesday.
“We anticipate Ty being back tomorrow at practice,” Arkansas head coach Chad Morris said Monday. “Same way with Colton Jackson. We’ll see both of those guys and we anticipate those guys being back.”
Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock was equally optimistic Monday given the two have been recovering since the 31-27 loss to Texas A&M on Sept. 28.
“I fully expect Ty and Colton to be ready to go,” Craddock said. “We’ll know more after practice tomorrow, but I would be shocked if they didn’t play.”
Freshman receiver Trey Knox (21 catches for 299 yards before missing the Texas A&M game with an injured hip), junior receiver Jordan Jones of Smackover (sidelined the first five games by ankle surgery) and junior receiver/kick returner De’Vion Warren (concussion after the Sept. 21 loss to San Jose State) figure in this week’s game plan.
“We should be full capacity in our wide receiver room for the first time in quite some time, which is good to see,” Morris said Monday.
The numbers will help, Craddock said, given the workload that sophomore Mike Woods (17 catches for 239 yards in C Whitlow photo above) and freshman Treylon Burks (13 catches for 220 yards) have carried.
“We had guys (against Texas A&M) play 71 snaps at receiver,” Craddock said. “That’s way too many.”
TYSON MORRIS CITED
Morris and Craddock cited junior Tyson Morris, the West Helena native and Fayetteville High grad, for catching nine passes for 118 yards and a TD while other receivers were injured.
“No. 1, Tyson’s a tremendous worker,” said Morris, who rewarded walk-on Morris with a scholarship at the season’s outset. “He’s a great leader. As you look at how he has helped this football team, with us losing Deon in fall camp, someone had to step in that role. And then Jordan went out. So Tyson’s role just kept elevating. He played 50-something snaps the last game.”
Craddock said Morris has played all three wideout positions.
“That just shows how he’s prepared,” Craddock said. “I can’t say enough good things about what he did.”
On adding Jones to the receiver mix, Morris said, “We hope he’ll provide an opportunity to stretch the field vertically for us. He’s one of the fastest players on our team. So to get him back full speed would be a huge addition for us.”
Arkansas’ best defensive lineman, senior D-tackle McTelvin “Sosa” Agim of Hope, used the open-date week to refresh from five games of battling aches, pains and double-teams.
“I anticipate him being full-go,” Morris said. “I think where he is and how well he’s playing right now, it would take something really substantial to keep him out of a game. I think he’s having a really good year with an opportunity to have a great year.”
Welcoming back freshman defensive end Zach Williams as healthy again, defensive coordinator John Chavis anticipates a defensive roster full-go.
The SEC announced Monday the Oct. 19 Auburn at Arkansas game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium will kick off at 11 a.m. and be televised by the SEC Network.