Har­rell ex­celling at new po­si­tion for Ra­zor­backs

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Nate Allen Ra­zor­back Re­port

FAYETTEVIL­LE — Since last spring’s prac­tices into this Au­gust pre­sea­son, the de­fense mostly has won the belt that Arkansas Ra­zor­backs Coach Chad Mor­ris awards the unit he deems dom­i­nat­ing that day’s prac­tice.

Not Mon­day, though.

The of­fense got the nod and en­joyed it.

“Yes, sir, we dom­i­nated the red zone and Coach Mor­ris said that’s our belt,” se­nior sec­ond-year grad­u­ate trans­fer tight end Chase Har­rell said af­ter Mon­day’s closed prac­tice. “I scored one in the red zone.”

Catch­ing four passes for 60 yards as a Ra­zor­backs re­serve wide re­ceiver last year trans­fer­ring with ju­nior foot­ball el­i­gi­bil­ity but al­ready with his Univer­sity of Kansas de­gree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Har­rell caught a touch­down dur­ing last Satur­day’s scrim­mage plus Mon­day for two TD’S this sea­son. He’s con­sis­tently mer­ited Mor­ris’ praise since last spring mov­ing to tight end.

Though now with 245 pounds in­stead of 220 on his 6-4 frame, Har­rell said his speed en­hances for the po­si­tion he now plays.

“I’ve al­ways been a fast guy, but re­ally my speed at re­ceiver was kind of av­er­age,” Har­rell said. “But once they moved me to tight end, my speed kind of went up. I would say I’m ac­tu­ally catch­ing the ball bet­ter. I love the role.”

How about all that hand in the dirt heavy duty block­ing a de­fen­sive end that didn’t be­set him at re­ceiver?

“In terms of the block­ing game, I still have a lot to work on,” Har­rell said. “It’s a mind­set. You’ve got to want to block.”

He says he’s got the wantto. “I’m more of a phys­i­cal guy, so I like block­ing,” Har­rell said. “It has been chal­leng­ing and I do have to work on my tech­nique. But I’d say it’s get­ting eas­ier each and ev­ery day.”

Har­rell said his off­sea­son move from re­ceiver to tight end may have stemmed from a jok­ing re­mark he made to tight ends coach Barry Lun­ney last Novem­ber.

“With like two weeks left in the sea­son I was like, ‘Hey, you want me to put my hand in the dirt,” Har­rell re­called. “I was just kid­ding, but I guess they picked up on it and they wanted me to switch. Af­ter that he told me to just think about it. Then like two days later I was like, ‘Yeah Coach, I want to switch.”

The new po­si­tion and es­tab­lish­ing now old friends from last year’s new re­la­tion­ships seems to have spawned a new lease on Har­rell’s Arkansas life.

“Com­ing in my first year, I was like an out­sider,” Har­rell said. “I didn’t know any of the guys and it was kind of awk­ward. With more time with the team, they’ve kind of ac­cepted me and now I can call them my broth­ers be­cause we’ve been work­ing and grind­ing to­gether.”

Har­rell said he’s ex­cited he’s a fa­ther to be for the fu­ture with time be­tween the past of the 2017 shoot­ing death of his brother Cole in Hous­ton, Har­rell’s home town.

“Los­ing my brother is what led me to trans­fer,” Chase said of feel­ing a change of lo­cale would help him work through his emo­tional pain.

Now the new lo­cale comes with a new po­si­tion from which Mor­ris ex­pects much start­ing with 2019 se­nior tight end C.J. O’grady’s 30 catches for 400 yards last year.

“We uti­lize our tight ends a lot in the pass­ing game,” Har­rell said. “So, I feel like there will be a bunch of chances for me to step up.”

While Har­rell and the of­fense en­joyed Mon­day’s belt, the de­fense deter­mined to buckle down.

“I know (Mon­day) the of­fense won it and it didn’t sit well with the de­fense,” ju­nior line­backer Grant Mor­gan of Green­wood said. “Be­cause that’s like our first time to give it up in a while.”

Red­shirt fresh­man de­fen­sive tackle Isa­iah Ni­chols, in con­cus­sion pro­to­col last week, prac­ticed Mon­day, but fresh­man tight end Hudson Henry, also con­cus­sion pro­to­col last week, was still with­held.

Pos­si­bly in­jured in last Satur­day’s scrim­mage since they weren’t spot­ted prac­tic­ing Mon­day were ju­nior run­ning back T.J. Ham­monds, fresh­man nickel back Greg Brooks and red­shirt fresh­man de­fen­sive tackle Nick Ful­wider.

True fresh­man de­fen­sive end Eric Gre­gory ap­pears a pos­si­ble red­shirt can­di­date hav­ing un­der­gone an­kle surgery ex­pected to side­line him sev­eral weeks.


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