Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Razorbacks scrimmage report:
Wise acts like man possessed
University of Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr watches from the sidelines during the Razorbacks game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway , N.J.
FAYETTEVILLE - All-SEC defensive end Trey Flowers didn’t dress out for Arkansas’ Saturday scrimmage - the coaches already know what he can do - but redshirt sophomore Deatrich Wise helped fill the void.
“I was anxious to see who took the reins in that defensive line group when Trey wasn’t out there, and he [Wise] seemed to do that,” Razorbacks Coach Bret Bielema said. “He did a nice job.”
Wise had 9 tackles, including 2 for losses of 5 yards. He also made tackles down field, chasing down backs or receivers.
“I can go out and go from coast to coast and not find a better physical presence than Deatrich,” Bielema said. “He’s 6-foot-5, 275 or 285. He runs like a deer. He’s intelligent.
“The things that have limited him are his maturity, ability to handle the moment. He’s gotten so much better at that, I think the kid has grown by leaps and bounds.”
Bielema said Wise has adjusted well to playing for new defensive line coach Rory Segrest.
“He continues to flourish,” Bielema said.
Redshirt sophomore end JaMichael Winston made his presence felt with two sacks for losses totaling 13 yards.
Coach Bret Bielema dismissed the spring break Internet chatter that suggested sophomore tailback Alex Collins might be unhappy with the Razorbacks and considering a transfer or that he would be suspended during the season. Bielema said he “couldn’t be more pleased” with how Collins has progressed.
“The part about transferring I think is completely clueless, baseless and senseless, whoever tried to say it,” Bielema said.
“There isn’t anything out there about that.”
Bielema added, “He’s not suspended for any games from my doing or anything along those lines. He’s really grown as a person.”
Collins had 8 carries for 38 yards and 2 receptions for 18 yards in Arkansas’ 101-play scrimmage.
Bielema said Collins’ week-long suspension during the eight-week winter workout period was one of nine handed down by the coaching staff.
“We took Alex out for a week. He responded very, very well. There’s certain things that he’s doing that are exactly what we want. The reports since we suspended him have been positive.”Marshall held out
Running back Korliss Marshall didn’t scrimmage Saturday because he’s being held out until medically cleared to practice, Coach Bret Bielema said.
Bielema said it’s “nothing significant right now,” but wasn’t specific when asked about what is keeping Marshall sidelined.
“We don’t really know right now,” Bielema said. “He just has some issues we want to get further testing on, get some blood work on.
It’s something that bothered him a little bit last week coming off the break and we will see exactly where it is.
“Hopefully, we’ll get him cleared by Tuesday. But I don’t know the answers.
That’s why we’re doing the tests on him.”
Senior end Trey Flowers won’t scrimmage this spring, Bielema said, but will go through the other practices.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” Bielema said.
Bielema said the coaches also will limit the scrimmage work for starting tailback Jonathan Williams, who had five carries Saturday.
Receiver Demetrius Wilson, who redshirted last season with a knee injury, was held out Saturday as a precaution. He hasn’t been cleared for contact.
“So he’s practicing all spring, but we’re going to keep him out of Saturday scrimmages to give his knee a day of rest,” Bielema said.
Receiver Eric Hawkins didn’t scrimmage because he has displayed concussion-like symptoms since Tuesday’s practice.
“He’s a lot better today,” Bielema said. “We think he might get him back in a noncontact jersey on Tuesday.”
Sophomore defensive lineman Jeremy Ward isn’t practicing this spring because of back injury.
“Jeremy is great kid with a lot of upside, but the bottom line is that back has been a reoccurring issue,” Bielema said. “We’re going to have to make some decisions on him whether to get the surgery done and where football stands for him in the future.”
Coach Bret Bielema announced before spring drills that junior receiver D’Arthur Cowan was being held out of practices so he could concentrate on putting his academic work in order.
Turns out Cowan might get a chance to make it to the field before the end of spring.
“We had a very, very positive report about him yesterday,” Bielema said. “So he may be out there next week in some fashion.”
A fight between the starting offensive and defensive lines broke out during the scrimmage.
Offensive tackle Dan Skipper was sent to the sidelines for a few plays after he threw a couple of punches.
“I love Dan and I love the way he plays,” Coach Bret Bielema said. “I’m always bragging on him and he plays through the whistle, but I saw a couple of punches being thrown and I just can’t tolerate that.”
Bielema said it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a player to punch someone wearing a helmet.
“Dan is a very intelligent person, but to punch a face mask is not usually met with good results,” Bielema said. “I know he’s going to be an engineer, but I don’t know if the face mask is engineered in a way to take a fist.”
Bielema said tailback Alex Collins also threw a punch at safety TQ Coleman.
“If you throw a punch, you’re going to get thrown out,” Bielema said. “There is a definite line you have to walk there. But I don’t mind a little bit of, shall we say, engagement to let them know that it is going to be a part of the game.”
Sports, Pages 25 on 04/06/2014