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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Hog Calls

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE -- You know you've got a deep bench if you can substitute to the tune of "Send in the Clones" instead of "Send in the Clowns."

In Arkansas' scrimmage last Saturday, it seemed the Petrino brothers cloned receivers instead of substituting them.

Play-calling head coach Bobby and offensive coordinator/receivers coach Paul were without big-running, big-blocking London Crawford and glue-handed, possession- extending Lucas Miller.

Crawford sat because of leg injuries nagging him since the previous scrimmage.

Miller recovers from surgery. He broke his collarbone during practice last week and is presumed out four to six weeks. That encompasses the Sept. 5 season opener with Missouri State in Little Rock and maybe the next game, too, the Sept. 19 SEC opener with Georgia in Fayetteville.

Both are important cogs in the offensive wheel, but the Razorbacks rolled without them last Saturday.

The names just changed from Crawford and Miller to Childs and Salters.

Crawford was amply replaced last Saturday by Warren sophomore Greg Childs. Crawford is a big, fast 6-2, 205-pounder but Childs is bigger, 6-3, 227.

Childs used his height last Saturday to make nine catches and heft to net 107 receiving yards and a touchdown, plus throwing downfield blocks vital to extend average runs into big ones.

Childs' play was approved by the head coach noting the sophomore got "a ton of reps with London out."

"Childs is making a bunch of plays," Bobby Petrino said. "He's much stronger and more physical and really focused and is also a very good blocker. He is probably our most physical guy at wide receiver."

Miller, 10 catches for 201 yards last year against Mississippi State, is the Razorbacks' receiver most apt to catch the must-have, well-covered, pass on third or fourth down.

Carlton Salters may stand next in line. The fourth-year junior from Tallahassee, Fla., caught a key 21-yard pass in Miller's injury-induced absence against LSU last year. Last Saturday quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson peppered Salters with eight passes for a scrimmage-leading 119 yards.

"Salters," Bobby Petrino said, "is a guy we just count on to know every position He has got great hands. He's going to make the catches. He's our fourth-down guy."

It speaks volumes for Cobi Hamilton's ready-to-play ability that in a receiving corps this deep, the true freshman from Texarkana's Texas High is just too good not to be in the rotation.

Lance Ray, another athletic true freshman receiver, perches on that ready-to-play bubble, too, though it would behoove the Hogs to do some redshirting. Receivers Crawford, Miller and Reggie Fish are seniors this year and Salters a fifth-year senior in 2010.

Bingo, Wingo

Ronnie Wingo is another skill position true freshman too skilled not to play, despite the stockpiled depth at running back led by first-team pre-season All-SEC senior Michael Smith.

Just listen to sophomore running back Dennis Johnson, also too ready to redshirt though Petrino would like to redshirt some of the sophomores played as true freshmen in 2008.

Regarding running back Wingo, the 6-2, 215-pound speedster from St. Louis, Johnson was asked, "Do you see him slowly progressing or maybe quickly progressing ..."

"Ronnie has quickly progressed!" Johnson blurted and asserted before the questioner could progress. "He hasn't slowly progressed at all! He has shown us he is tough and physical and a big, big back ready to run the ball right now."

Nearly all the Razorbacks' skill-positions players looked more skilled scrimmaging than the previous Saturday because the offensive line was more skilled at giving them room to operate.



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