RAZORBACKS REPORT: Preseason All-SEC for 4 Hogs

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Thursday, August 24, 2017
Arkansas offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt talks to reporters during the Razorbacks' media day Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt talks to reporters during the Razorbacks' media day Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks had four selections to the three preseason All-SEC coaches teams released by the conference office on Wednesday.

Senior center Frank Ragnow, a second-team preseason All-America choice by The Associated Press this week, was voted first-team All-SEC by the coaches.

Quarterback Austin Allen, offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt and cornerback Ryan Pulley were all third-team choices.

"It's cool. I can't lie and say I don't even recognize it at all," Ragnow said on Wednesday. "And it's cool to see how excited my family and my friends get about it. But then again, nobody remembers somebody for preseason awards.

"It's a cool accomplishment and I think it gives you good hype and everything. But I want to be remembered for what I did after the season."

Ragnow was voted first-team preseason all-SEC by the media and the coaches.

"The coaches in our conference, there's a lot of legendary coaches in the conference that are recognizing your game, so that's pretty cool for them to recognize that," he said.

Surprise!

Freshman Chase Hayden, who is expected to join Devwah Whaley and David Williams in the tailback rotation, said he didn't know what to expect in his first college camp.

"I have surprised myself," Hayden said. "My mindset was to just come in here and compete and give my best effort. I surprised myself a little bit, but you just keep that mindset and keep working hard and keep a clear head and I think you can do a lot of things."

Hayden's father Aaron played at Tennessee and in the NFL.

"At first he thought I was going to Tennessee and I thought I was going to Tennessee," Hayden said. "Once he got around the [Arkansas] coaching staff and saw all the coaches, he saw that it would be a good place for me to go."

Return men

Deon Stewart and Jordan Jones have been working as the leading deep men on kickoff returns, including a devoted period to the unit on Wednesday. Stewart said he and Jonathan Nance have teamed up deep on the top unit.

"Jonathon's blocking for me," Stewart said. "But if they decide to kick it to him, then I'll block for him."

The second-team returners are receivers Jordan Jones and Gary Cross, with the third-teamers running back Chase Hayden and cornerback Chevin Calloway.

Rattler look

The Razorbacks will have a morning lift for members of their travel squad on Saturday, then the team will gather for a brunch that will include a live look at Florida A&M's season opener at 11 a.m. against Texas Southern on ESPNU with coordinators Paul Rhoads and Dan Enos in position to provide commentary to their units.

"We'll watch it offensively, defensively, alone in their respective rooms," Bielema said. "That way Paul can talk it over when the [Rattlers'] offense is going, Dan can talk about the defense.

"We're going to have several opportunities to watch it during the course of the week."

Since the Razorbacks will not play on Sept. 2, they'll get to watch TCU that evening in the Horned Frogs' opener against Jackson State at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Network.

"I definitely think that's going to help us, just getting that extra time really," tight end Austin Cantrell said.

Full of wings

Transfer tight end Jeremy Patton was dragging near the end of a warm practice day on Tuesday, Bret Bielema told the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club on Wednesday, and he couldn't figure out why.

"He got a little winded," Bielema said.

"Well, today he was in there watching film with coach [Barry] Lunney right before I came over here and he's got a box of 12 fried chicken wings. I'm like, 'Bro, that's how I eat. That's not how you eat. We have this dining hall over here with all this healthy food. Why don't you go experience it?' "

Bielema added that Patton is expected to contribute as one of the team's key newcomers.

Bottle exchange

Bret Bielema said he came home a couple Saturdays ago feeling good about the scrimmage that day, made his wife Jen an omelet with peppers and got ready to watch all the NFL Hall of Fame induction speeches that night with Jen and six-week-old Briella.

"I went to the adult refrigerator and got an adult beverage and I'm walking back," Bielema told the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club. "All of a sudden, that got removed from my hand and replaced by a bottle.

"When I left the day before, we were breastfeeding. When I came back, we must have changed gears. I kind of liked it when it was the other way. I could just sit in there and watch, maybe coach it up a little bit."

8 days away

Bret Bielema, speaking at Wednesday's meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club, said he liked the team chemistry and where his team was positioned eight days out from its season opener.

"I got after them a little bit yesterday," Bielema said. "We had a red zone [sequence] at the end of practice I didn't think was clean enough and I challenged them," he said. "I went downstairs and I think every kid on our roster was in there watching film on his own. I just think the mentality and the demeanor of this football team is really high."

On the radio

The first of Bret Bielema's 14 radio shows will be at 7 p.m. today.

Safety Santos Ramirez and guard Hjalte Froholdt will join Bielema on the show, which is hosted by Chuck Barrett.

Suite deals

Scott Varady, executive director of the Razorback Foundation, said Wednesday there are only two suites remaining to be leased from the group of 32 that are being created in the ongoing north end zone project at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Varady added there were 44 commitments on the 70 new loge boxes that will be part of the new north end zone configuration, scheduled to be ready for the 2018 season.

Varady pointed out that Coach Bret Bielema has mentioned how the new end zone project will help incapsulate the sound at the stadium.

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Sports on 08/24/2017

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