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The Daily Call – May 4, 2014

BY ANDRES FOCIL
The Daily Call – May 4, 2014

Flowers Takes Next Step In Plan The Arkansas defensive line will have almost an entirely different look in 2014 after graduating three starters from head coach Bret Bielema’s first season in Fayetteville. The lone returning starter along the line, senior defensive end Trey Flowers, has wrapped up another segment of Coach Bielema’s plan that helped convince the second-team All-SEC performer to return for his senior season. Flowers caused havoc in opponents’ backfields throughout his junior season, ranking second in the SEC and 34th in the NCAA with an average of 1.23 tackles for loss per game, and was considered by many to be a mid-round prospect for next weekend’s NFL Draft. The Huntsville, Ala., native spent weeks after last season ended gathering information as he pushed toward his decision. He was always leaning toward returning to Arkansas in order to complete his bachelor’s degree in economics but the two-time SEC Honor Roll member was pushed over the edge after a visit to his home. Coach Bielema and head strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert traveled to Huntsville to present a plan to Flowers and his parents that would solidify his decision to play his final season of collegiate eligibility. The plan pointed out the ability to finish his degree and also highlighted ways to make Flowers an even better prospect in 2015. Included in the plan was no scrimmage work in the spring, instead focusing on working out with Coach Herbert before practice and helping the younger Razorbacks at his position during live contact. “When Trey and I set down together in December, we had a plan and we haven’t deviated from that,” Coach Bielema said. “We knew he wasn’t going to get scrimmage work, but he worked every other day of the week as hard as anybody. He’s gotten a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger, and that will help him in the fall.” While Flowers, just like any football player, wanted to be on the field with his teammates, he used his experience to help younger defensive linemen. Taking Flowers’ 26 starts out of the equation, the Razorback defensive lineman scrimmaging had just seven collegiate starts between them and five of those were by defensive tackle Darius Philon. “I went out there to encourage my teammates, help them with what we were doing and teach the younger guys,” Flowers said. “I think the individual time I had in practice was even more helpful than a scrimmage could have been.” In addition to the inexperience, Arkansas also added Rory Segrest and his five years of NFL experience to the coaching staff. Coach Segrest, who helped the Philadelphia Eagles make the playoffs three times, win two NFC East titles and advance to one NFC Championship Game, brought a different identity to the defensive line heading into 2014. “I like Coach Segrest’s style a lot,” Flowers said. “I feel as though my ability to adjust to different styles and techniques has helped me lead the team.” One of the younger Razorbacks who took advantage of increased time in the spring was sophomore Deatrich Wise Jr. The Carrollton, Texas, native appeared in all 12 games last year and made 17 tackles, including 3.0 for loss with 2.0 sacks. Wise exited spring practices as the leader to line up with Flowers as the other starting defensive end. “I like playing with Trey,” Wise said. “He’s great. There are no guarantees in terms of playing time, but I am working extra hard, just like the other people on the line, to see who will start. We’re trying to make Arkansas known for tough defense. We are ready to show everyone who we are.” The next step individually for Flowers includes continued workouts with Coach Herbert. As a leader for the Razorback defense, he will be counted on throughout the summer to keep his teammates progressing in the new defense. Fans who lamented the missed opportunity to see Flowers in game situations during the spring won’t have to wait long to see him. Arkansas opens the 2014 season on national television, traveling to face Auburn on Aug. 30 for a game that will be shown across the country on the SEC Network. @RazorbackSB Hosts No. 7/5 Florida in Season Finale on ESPN The Razorbacks will close out the 2014 regular season Sunday afternoon when they host No. 7/5 Florida at Bogle Park live on ESPN. First pitch is set for Noon (CT) and will mark game three of a weekend series against the Gators. The first 250 fans will receive a FREE rollabanner and one lucky fan will win an iPad mini. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Razorbacks will have a Senior Day ceremony for outfielder Amanda Geile. Saturday game between Arkansas and Florida was played in front of a season-high 1,106 fans, the third-largest home crowd in program history…as captured below by Razorback tennis student-athlete Flavia Araujo.

Bogle is packed tonight! @RazorbackSB pic.twitter.com/AKObSV92uP

– Flávia D. Araújo (@flaviadaraujo) May 4, 2014

Too ambiguous? Know exactly what coverage we’re missing? Have a general question for the athletic department? Tell us. Shout atarkmr@uark.eduwith suggestions of what you would like to see covered and what the column is missing. Interaction is good. Think of this as your portal to all things Arkansas.



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