FAYETTEVILLE — Completely closed from the media Thursday, and again today, the Razorbacks continue practicing during their final week without a game.
Third-year sophomore linebacker Grant Morgan of Greenwood was asked after Wednesday’s hard practice in pads if it has sunken in that game week starts Sunday, leading into Arkansas' Sept. 1 SEC Network televised 3 p.m. season opener at Reynolds Razorback Stadium against the Eastern Illinois University Panthers.
“No,” Morgan replied. “I think a lot of players are trying to focus one day at a time. I know a lot of people think we’re two weeks away from the game but for us we are looking at tomorrow. We have a recovery walk through day and I think we are going to come into it mentally focused.”
Eastern Illinois of the Ohio Valley Conference is the lone lower tier team (Football Championship Subdivision instead of the Football Bowl Subdivision encompassing the major conferences like the SEC) the Hogs face, but is full of players familiar with the state of Arkansas.
EIU coach Kim Dameron, a former Razorbacks defensive back and wide receiver lettering for Lou Holtz from 1979-82 and the son of a coach while variously growing up in Harrison, Rogers and Bentonville, has recruited hard in his native state.
Just from Camden alone, Dameron has Camden Fairview alums Jonathan McCoy, a freshman tight end; and defensive backs Corneliuss Page and Iziah Gulley, both variously starters last season.
The EIU roster also includes defensive back Jordan Jackson of Blytheville, Sylvan Hills grad safety and EIU freshman Darius Waddell of Sherwood; freshman defensive lineman Davion Moore of North Little Rock and redshirt freshman safety Marcus Bornslater of Crossett.
Media during the first 20 minutes of Tuesday’s practice available for viewing noticed redshirt freshman native son left guard Kirby Adcock of Nashville, Ark., get singled out having to do up-downs because he jumped offsides.
However Adcock also was singled out positively for performance last Wednesday by offensive coordinator Joe Craddock.
“Kirby Adcock has been getting some reps in there and done some really good things,” Craddock said Wednesday. “One of the things I've noticed about Kirby since the spring is he has gotten a lot more confidence. He was one of the guys I had to refocus yesterday (Tuesday), but he really responded today and had a good practice. He has done a really, really good job at this point and looks a lot differently physically. Mentally he understands a lot more what we're trying to do than in the spring.”
Adcock has been getting pushed at left guard by Austin Capps, the junior two-year letterman from Star City as a defensive tackle moved to offense during the August preseason as the injury bug repeatedly bit the offensive line.
Arkansas fans can get two TV previews of the Colorado State Rams before Arkansas kicks off its season.
Before hosting the Razorbacks in a Sept. 8 nonconference game at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) in Fort Collins, Colo., and televised by the CBS Sports Network, the The Rams, of the Mountain West, host Hawaii at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday and on Friday, Aug. 31, again on the CBS Sports Network, clash in Denver at 6:30 p.m. in their annual Rocky Mountain Showdown vs. the Colorado Buffaloes at the Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium.
The Rams of Coach Mike Bobo, the former Georgia offensive coordinator for former Georgia Coach Mark Richt, just returned to coaching the Rams after being hospitalized since Aug. 11 getting treatment for neuropathy numbness in his feet.
Bobo begins his fourth CSU season off consecutive 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 campaigns.