1. Davis: “Still Got It”
Arkansas running back Knile Davis was scheduled to earn his first carries in a live scrimmage during the Razorbacks’ mock game last Friday.
So how did it go? The scrimmage was closed to the public and no one was available for comment afterward, but it sounded as if Davis was still in one piece Saturday.
“Hahaha still got it…good scrimmage today the team looked great #Blessed & highly favored !!!” Davis said via Twitter (@BoobieKnile_Era) late Friday night.
It was followed a little later by a tweet from Arkansas RB coach Tim Horton (@CoachTimHorton): “Good scrimmage tonight! No turnovers, not many penalties and no injuries. This is a fun group to coach! #GoHogs #WPS”
It’s good news for the Razorbacks, who are preparing for next Saturday’s opener against Jacksonville State. Arkansas did not allow Davis to participate in the team’s first two preseason scrimmages, keeping a cautious approach with the All-SEC running back after he suffered a fractured ankle in a scrimmage in Aug. 2011.
Coach John L. Smith said Thursday — after announcing Davis was scheduled for carries — he was planning to keep the running back out of contact work until Saturday’s opener against Jacksonville State. However, Smith said Davis “vetoed” him. So the Razorbacks allowed Davis to participate in the mock game.
2. Picking On His Son
Arkansas cornerbacks coach Bobby Allen has a job to do with the defense. So don’t judge the veteran coach if he’s picking apart the tendencies of his own son – Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen – to help his players in preseason camp.
“It’s like I was telling the DBs … Dakota Baggett got a pick on him, and I said, ‘Hey just watch his lead shoulder. Watch this. Watch that and we’ll get one,’” Allen said.
The coach was smiling when he said it, but added he’s proud of Allen’s development as a quarterback. The redshirt freshman is Arkansas’ No. 2 quarterback because of Brandon Mitchell’s move to receiver, giving him extensive work this preseason.
“When we’re watching film of the DBs, I’m trying to watch just the DBs and correct them, and focus on what they’re doing,” Allen said when asked if he watches his son on the field. “On my own private time, if I get a chance, then I’ll watch Brandon and see what he’s doing. I’m real pleased with Brandon with his progress. I’m glad he’s getting out there and competing and trying to do the best he can do.”
3. Two-Way Guy?
Arkansas has used senior Kiero Small as both a fullback and linebacker throughout much of the preseason. It’s not clear if the Razorbacks intend to use him on both sides of the ball against Jacksonville State on Saturday, but defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said he has been impressed with Small’s performance at linebacker.
Smith helped the Hogs with depth while Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright sat out with injuries for much of the first two weeks of preseason camp.
“I think the kid is a big-time player,” Haynes said last week. “He’s just a football player. So whatever we ask him to do, I mean, he does.
“The thing you thought he may be limited at, he makes up for it with … we use that term FBI. His football intelligence is so high he makes up for it.”
4. Smith’s Show Debuts
The weekly television show “Inside Razorback Football with John L. Smith” will make its debut tonight. The first episode will include segments with Arkansas’ six team captains as the Razorbacks prepare for Saturday’s season opener.
The show will air in Arkansas on Sundays on KATV (immediately following the 10 p.m. news), KNWA (11 p.m.), KFTA (9 p.m.) and Cox Cable Systems (check local listings). The show will also be aired regionally on Cox Sports Television and Fox Sports Southwest (check local listings). The show will also be available on Monday evenings through RazorVision on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
The show’s debut is part of a big week for Smith and the program. He will participate in the first edition of his weekly radio show as Arkansas’ coach on Wednesday night. The Razorbacks also will be featured on a CBS Sports Network all-access show, which airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau