Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash met with the media after Thursday's practice.
It was the Razorbacks' eighth practice this spring.
Here are four highlights from the question-and-answer session:
(On safety Rohan Gaines) "Rohan has been really good every day we’ve gone out there. I really am a big fan of Rohan. He comes to work every day with a smile on his face and he’s ready to be coached. He’s really putting a lot of overtime in to study the game of football. When he comes out there, he’s on top of his game. He's got good football IQ. He flies around, plays with a motor and I really like him. He’s a tough kid. And last Saturday’s scrimmage he made a lot of plays. Every day we go out there he’s always around the ball.”
(On Arkansas beefing up its defensive tackles) "For us to stop the run in this league — it’s a big boy league — you’ve got to have some size to be able to play right down the middle of your defense. Both at the two inside tackle positions, your Mike linebacker. I wish we had some more size at safety but we don’t. We’ve got what we’ve got. We want those guys to beef up a little bit and they’ve done that and it’s been good weight with (strength) coach (Ben Herbert) in the weight room. And you can see it paying off. They’re holding the point in there. We’re going to need that against the offensive line and teams in this league.”
(On how much A.J. Turner's wrist injury sets him back this spring) "A big one. A really big one. This is a big spring for him with a new coaching staff, new terminology, and to miss the time he's missed, it's going to hurt him. ... Hopefully, we can get him back out there and get some reps. But it's going to be a big mental spring for him right now. He's got to really and learn and apply. He's going to go through walk-throughs, but what he learns in the meeting room, he's got to go out and apply in the walk-throughs and get those mental reps."
(On finding a middle linebacker) "We're looking for a guy that can be really the general of the defense. A guy that has a good understanding of the schemes. A guy that can get things right when we need it, a guy that can be a leader in times when we need him to be a leader in good and bad times. And we need a physical guy right down the middle of your defense, just like your D-tackles. You need some big physical guys at the mike linebacker position. You need a big, physical mike linebacker to be able to take on blocks, to be able to take on fullbacks and again, you've got to be a great communicator. So there a lot of things we look out of that position. Unfortunately, all the guys bring something different of those characteristics and we're trying to find a guy that can eventually fit all those things."
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau