Cornelius out with bad back
FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas Razorbacks will hold wide receiver Jared Cornelius out of practice for an extended period of time after the senior’s back tightened up following Thursday’s first workout of camp, a person with knowledge of the situation said Friday.
Cornelius had not been cleared for full participation to start training camp, Coach Bret Bielema said Thursday, adding that the receiver was limited in team drills, as was linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
Cornelius dealt with tightness in his back for parts of last season. He sat out the Razorbacks’ 42-3 victory over Texas State on Sept. 17. Cornelius returned the following week and caught 7 passes for 126 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown, in the Razorbacks’ 45-24 loss to Texas A&M.
The senior from Shreveport is the only returning wide receiver on the Arkansas roster with more than 2 receptions from a year ago, when he had 32 catches for 515 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Cornelius injured a knee in Arkansas’ season-ending loss at Missouri and did not play in the Belk Bowl.
His absence will allow a group of inexperienced receivers a chance to work with the first offense and quarterback Austin Allen.
Sophomore Deon Stewart, who was on the first unit with Cornelius to open camp, was joined by others during the open part of Friday’s practice. Among them were junior college transfer Jonathan Nance, sophomores La’Michael Pettway and T.J. Hammonds and freshman Jordan Jones.
The Razorbacks will put on light pads, what Coach Bret Bielema calls “half pack,” today, but they got feisty in helmets and shorts Friday.
“Especially when we put the pads on guys are going to be ready to be physical,” senior defensive back Kevin Richardson said. “It showed up today. We got in some skirmishes. I feel like guys are ready to get in pads and get after it.”
Richardson said players involved in the skirmishes were defensive end McTelvin Agim, offensive tackle Colton Jackson, and “them,” meaning big linemen.
“Those guys are bigger than me,” Richardson said. “I do what I can to motivate them to stop. I can’t physically do anything. … It might require some different language but I do what I can to make them stop.”
The No. 1 offensive line during the open portions of practice has the same five players who closed spring
practice as starters: center Frank Ragnow, left guard Hjalte Froholdt, left tackle Colton Jackson, right guard Johnny Gibson and right tackle Brian Wallace.
The second-team line Thursday had Zach Rogers at center, Deion Malone at left guard, Jake Raulerson at left tackle, Jalen Merrick at right guard and Paul Ramirez at right tackle.
The third-team line had Jackson Hannah at center, Jake Heinrich at left guard, Shane Clenin at left tackle, Kirby Adcock at right guard and Dalton Wagner at right tackle.
Bret Bielema, who asked about players who had done a one-step jump of 60 inches during summer testing, turned it into a conversation about the group’s young receivers, starting with former Cabot quarterback Jarrod Barnes.
“Jarrod is very smooth and very conscientious,” Bielema said. “De’Vion Warren is probably — I know some of those upperclassmen probably don’t want to admit it, but he’s one of the top five fastest players on our team probably [and is] very gifted.
“I think Koilan Jackson is a very talented player that has size and maturity and his ability to get going a little bit in the right direction.”
Bielema then sent a message to the older receivers.
“I tell you what, I mean some of these older receivers that haven’t got on the field yet, they had better wake up and smell the coffee,” he said. “Because if they don’t perform right, those younger guys will go right by them. It doesn’t take me long to figure out you’ve been here three years and you can’t get it right and you’ve got a guy who has been here three months and get it right we’ll make a move in a hurry.”
Coastal Carolina Coach Joe Moglia will miss the 2017 season to deal with a health issue, Yahoo Sports reported Friday. The Razorbacks face Coastal Carolina, which went 10-2 last season, for homecoming on Nov. 4.
Moglia, 68, has a bronchial asthmatic reaction to allergies and the situation must be addressed for his long-term health, Yahoo Sports reported. Offensive coordinator Jamey Chadwell will serve as interim coach in Moglia’s absence, according to the report.
Moglia, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade, has a 51-15 record at Coastal Carolina, which joins the Sun Belt this season but is not eligible for a bowl game until 2018.
Because of Moglia’s absense, the Razorbacks will play teams with interim coaches in back-to-back games. Arkansas plays at Ole Miss, where interim coach Matt Luke has taken over for Hugh Freeze, on Oct. 28.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who is returning from offseason surgery, will not carry a heavy practice burden during camp, Bret Bielema suggested.
Greenlaw had two separate foot surgeries, following the 49-30 loss to Alabama on Oct. 8, and after a re-injury of his right foot in the Belk Bowl. Greenlaw was getting his upper thigh rolled by a trainer during the early part of Friday’s workout.
Additionally, “Hog” linebacker Karl Roesler felt a twinge in his hamstring late in the summer and Bielema said, “we didn’t want to get him there full throttle.”
Tyler Phillips and Gabe Richardson are among the backups to Roesler at the Hog spot.
There is a method to the sharing of running back reps early in camp, Bret Bielema said.
The coaches paired senior transfer David Williams with sophomore starter Devwah Whaley with the first-team offense, while freshmen Maleek Williams and Chase Hayden split second-team work.
“We kind of divided the script ones and twos,” Bielema said. “Because [with] the running back, we ask him to finish 25 yards each play, we thought it would be good to stay with David and Devwah with the ones. A guy that knows exactly what he’s doing and we could control the reps with David.
“Maleek knew our entire offense from participating in the spring. We wanted to space him in there and Devwah. It’s not that David is a one necessarily.”
Florida A&M, coached by former Arkansas passing game coordinator Alex Wood, will already have a game under its belt when the Rattlers visit Little Rock for the Razorbacks’ season opener Aug. 31.
It will be a short week for the Rattlers, who were 4-7 last season, including a 4-4 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Florida A&M opens the season at home on Aug. 26 against Texas Southern in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wood had a 1-10 record in his first year at Florida A&M in 2015 and made a threegame improvement last year.
Arkansas is FAMU’s only Power 5 opponent this season. Last year, the Rattlers lost 70-3 at Miami in their season opener, and fell 49-10 at Coastal Carolina, which moved from the Big South to the Sun Belt Conference, where it will be a full member in 2018.