Nate Allen is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Allen is a voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has authored three books about the Razorbacks.
Coaches want to put best on the field
Arkansas receiver Drew Morgan (80) is tackled by linebacker Braylon Mitchell during the Red-White Game on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE -- It may sound like football algebra, but at Arkansas, two Zs could equal X.
Alternating at the flanker position called "Z," sophomore Drew Morgan, 6 catches for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns, and junior Keon Hatcher, 3 catches for 65 yards, highlighted wide receivers' production during the Razorbacks' scrimmage last Saturday.
If both dominate again in Saturday afternoon's open-to-the-public scrimmage at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, might one switch to the split end position called "X" so both could play simultaneously?
"We will definitely look at that," Arkansas receivers coach Michael Smith said. "We want our best players on the field at all times, and if they can continue to perform the way they've been performing it would be a travesty on my part to have one of them sitting on the bench when they can both be on the field at the same time."
Off last Saturday's scrimmage, redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Allen looks more ready than ever to be the backup to his older brother, fourth-year junior incumbent starting quarterback Brandon Allen.
"Austin Allen had his best scrimmage since we've been here," Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said.
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Chaney was impressed with Austin Allen's timing.
"That's good when you can have your best day out there in the stadium," Chaney said. "That's what you are looking to do. He started hot and maintained it [16 of 20 for 190 yards without an interception] throughout the scrimmage. I would like to see him be more vocal but he'll get it."
Austin Allen mostly quarterbacked the second offense against the second defense but took some turns quarterbacking best against best and should again Saturday.
"The 2-quarterback needs to do that and right now he's two on the depth chart so he will be doing that," Chaney said.
Between his accomplishments coaching women's track and field and cross country at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and at Arkansas, Lance Harter long has has been Hall of Fame worthy.
The United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association last week officially recognized that, announcing that Harter is among six inductees for its Hall of Fame ceremonies Dec. 15 in Phoenix.
On a travel/recruiting budget of $10,100 and not competing in indoor track, Harter's Cal Poly cross country and outdoor track teams won 14 national championships.
At Arkansas since 1990, Harter's cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams have won 22 SEC championships and finished 24 times in the national Top 10 including four national runner-ups.
Harter joins retired Razorbacks men's coach John McDonnell and former Razorbacks field events coach Dick Booth, now at Alabama, as Hall of Fame inductees while coaching Arkansas.
"I know of no other school that has three inducted in the Track and Field Hall of Honor," Harter said. "The ones I have attended in the past for Coach Mac and Coach Booth, they are really, really special. I am super excited. Now I have to sit down and write a speech."
Sports on 08/13/2014