Hogs Gear Up for Final Spring Scrimmage; Draft
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas started the day as one unit, but by the end of Thursday’s workout the Razorbacks clearly had divided loyalties as the squad was split into two teams for Saturday’s red vs. white spring game.
The Hogs practiced for approximately 40 minutes before splitting into Saturday’s squads for the final 20 minutes of the workout. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said that the two teams will practice separately again on Friday.
Seniors and scrimmage team captains Nathan Ball and Raymond House drafted their respective teams Thursday afternoon before taking to the practice field. Ball will captain the white team, which will be coached by sophomore split end George Wilson. House will lead the red squad coached by senior defensive tackle Jermaine Brooks. Brooks and Wilson are both sidelined with injuries and will not play in Saturday’s scrimmage, but will have a chance to even call some plays in their new sideline roles.
“We had fun with it,” Brooks said. “From what I got of it (the draft), one team would pick a player and the other team would get the player behind them. It went like that position-by-position. We are going to fight (over players). We are teammates, but we are trying to make this competitive.”
The two coaches did participate a little good-natured ribbing in the post-practice media opportunity. Wilson told the media gathering that he was very confident about his squad’s chances.
“I know that my team is going to come out fired up,” Wilson said. “We don’t like red, we are white. We are going to beat them, hands down. I feel like we have the better team today. Just after the first practice we had I like our team chemistry. We have guys flying around the ball, causing turnovers and making plays. I don’t expect anything else Saturday.”
The new scrimmage format is already getting rave review from the players. Thursday’s practice was spirited and productive.
“We enjoy it,” House said. “Everybody on this team is very competitive. It is the sense of competition being able to go out there, compete, do the best we can in the game we love. When you think about going for almost three weeks straight, this gives us a little more motivation and more excitement into the game.”
The two teams will hold light workouts on Friday before battling each other in the annual red vs. white game on Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The scrimmage is open to the public and fans should enter gate 15 on the east side of the stadium.
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