FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas’ 4-deep tight ends position at least temporarily reduced to three Monday.
Senior Razorbacks second-year junior college transfer Jeremy Patton apparently injured a foot or ankle and had to be carried off the field while blocking for a field goal attempt during the first 20 minutes of practice that media is allowed to view.
Patton returned in a boot on the injured leg and watched the remainder of practice and his condition will be updated, media was told later by Arkansas sports information director Kyle Parkinson.
First-year Arkansas Coach Chad Morris has called tight end among the deepest positions on the team citing fourth-year juniors Austin Cantrell of Roland, Okla. and Cheyenne O’Grady of Fayetteville, third-year sophomore Grayson Gunter of Madison, Miss. and Patton.
“Really, everybody just steps up one spot,” Cantrell, media available post-practice, said. “I don’t think he’ll be out that long, honestly.”
Patton’s injury was the toughest for the Razorbacks to watch but for their ears the toughest was Morris’ vocal displeasure, at least with their first 20 minutes which, of their first practice since Saturday’s scrimmage.
“He’s kind of like that every day,” Cantrell said of Morris being fiery. “But he was a little bit more mad today, I guess. We were a little slow on the start. You know, we got a little punishment, had to do some up-downs, but I think after that it turned around.”
Senior cornerback Ryan Pulley and McTelvin “Sosa” Agim, the junior defensive tackle/defensive end and Hope High alum, said they weren’t surprised that Morris chewed them out and put them through up-downs.
““You will catch it every once in awhile if he don’t feel like you are giving it your all,” Agim said. “Especially after we just got a day off yesterday.”
Pulley saw Monday’s updowns coming almost from the get-go.
“We knew we didn’t have no energy when we went out there,” Pulley said. “People were walking around. So we knew we were going to get punished at some time out there today. So we just took it to the chin and got better today.”
Pulley said Morris closed practice far more upbeat than he began it.
“Just a little message to motivate us a little bit,” Pulley said. “He told us we've got to keep getting better everyday. We went out there a little slow, but we picked the energy back up at the end. We're gonna come out there tomorrow and have a big day.
Pulley was clad Monday in a green jersey signifying limited contact.
“I’m dinged up a little bit, but I’m alright,” Pulley said. “Just a little stinger on my shoulder, but I’m ready to go.”
Sophomore running back Chase Hayden, withheld from Saturday’s scrimmage because of an injury, practiced Monday.
Though Saturday’s scrimmage was Austin Capps’ first live work moving from the defensive to the offensive line, the 6-4 311 junior from Star City already pulls his weight at left guard, junior tight end Cantrell said Monday.
“Capps, you don’t want to be over there when he’s pulling, I’ll tell you that.” Cantrell said. He’s been hitting people on that pull. He’s one of the strongest if not THE strongest guy on the team.”
Seems all the Razorbacks have tactfully avoided directly replying to questions about the competition for starting quarterback between fourth-year junior Ty Storey of Charleston and third-year sophomore Cole Kelley of Lafayette, La.
Cantrell is no exception but did contrast their personalities and styles.
“Really between Ty and Cole, to me it’s neck and neck,” Cantrell said “Honestly. I think it’s wide open. They each kind of have their own personalities. Cole’s just a really, really fierce competitor but sometimes it may lead to a bad decision. Ty’s usually more conservative and he’s more of a thinker. That’s kind of their personalities to me, anyway.”
Media available Monday for the first time since last Saturday, sophomore cornerback Chevin Calloway was asked to describe the leaping one-handed come down inbounds interception on the sideline he picked in that scrimmage.
Morris, defensive coordinator John Chavis and even offensive coordinator Joe Craddock all marveled last Saturday about Calloway’s catch and tightroping the sideline footwork.
“I just looked up for the ball and saw it was in my reach ,” Calloway said. “So I just reached up and grabbed it. Kind of mentally I told myself I need to drag this foot, so dragged that foot and just caught the ball.”