FAYETTEVILLE — Kenny Guiton was blessed in his first season at Arkansas to have junior Treylon Burks at wide receiver, but he also likes the depth at the position.
Following Saturday’s practice Guiton talked about the depth in the room.
“Great competition throughout the group so far,” Guiton said. “I think competition brings the best out of athletes. These guys have been working their butts off all summer and they’re getting a chance to showcase it now. They know competition is throughout the room so they’re competing. I can’t wait to see it all unfold.”
As far as Burks is concerned, Guiton likes what he has seen from him both in the spring and now the two early preseason practices.
“Treylon is an awesome guy,” Guiton said. “It’s easy to talk to him about the things he needs to improve on. He already knows what type of player he is and he’s an awesome guy. Him being a bigger guy at times aren’t the same route runners as those smaller receivers. I told him I’m here to help you with that. Make sure we can take your route running to another level. Not like it’s not already great. He’s top 3 in country so you obviously doing something right, but I just want to help you take it up another notch. Also the knowledge of the game. Knowledge how to read defenses. Those are the two areas I would say I’ve been here to take his game to another level. He has taken ownership of it. He’s working his butt off and I think he’s reaping the benefits seeing himself getting better at it now.”
One of the receivers Guiton is counting on is senior De’Vion Warren who was having a breakout season in 2020 prior to tearing his ACL.
“De’Vion Warren is a hard worker,” Guiton said. “He’s a hard working guy and you know what you’re going to get out of him. It’s his all at all times, so he’s a fun guy to be around. He’s a fun guy to be around, he wants to be great. Anybody like that, they’re going to work their butt off to do whatever they can.”
Another super senior who came back this season is Tyson Morris. Guiton is proud he returned for another senior season.
“He’s an explosive guy,” Guiton said. “I’ve talked to Tyson plenty about having the right mindset. Coming out, having the mindset that hey, I’m going to do my job play-in, play-out, and use my ability to the best that I can do. He’s an explosive guy, he can run, he’s a bigger-bodied guy, so I think he’s got tools and abilities that we can use. With him, I just want to keep him in the right mindset and let him keep playing ball every day, play by play.”
In the spring game, John David White put on a show for the fans. Guiton is expecting big things for White this season.
“J. Diesel, just an awesome guy,” Guiton said. “A guy that does everything right, from off the field, on the field, wants to give his all. He gives every bit of effort that he has in him. I have a saying to my guys ‘the ball finds energy.’ The ball just finds energy, and JD White is the epitome of that. He’s going to get balls thrown to him because he’s so energized on the field and giving everything that he has for his teammates, for his brothers.”
Junior Trey Knox had a big freshman season, but then wasn’t as successful last fall. Guiton is hoping to see the 2019 version of Knox this fall.
“He’s doing awesome right now,” Guiton said. “He came in and he wanted to know my thoughts after seeing him all spring to reach that next level. I think he’s a bigger guy, a bigger wideout, so you talk about what bigger wideouts do. They’re big, physical guys who lock up people on perimeter blocking, and if the ball is in the air and it’s contested, it’s one-on-one, instead of it being a 50-50 ball, that’s 80-20. That’s who you have to be as a bigger guy. He’s taking it on and he’s working at it.”
The Razorbacks also have three true freshmen at wide receiver. Bryce Stephens, Jaedon Wilson and Ketron Jackson all seemingly have a bright future.
“Three of them came in, and I’m very intrigued about what they bring to the table right now,”Guiton said. “Three different styles of guys, too. That’s what I like in a wideout room. I like those three different styles. You’ve got Bryce Stephens, who’s a good-sized kid who can really fly. He can really fly. We’re excited about that. You can always use a guy that can fly, so I can see him helping us out. Ketron (Jackson) is a bigger guy who is also powerful and has good speed. Ketron Jackson, if you look at his body and his legs, you can see that kid is a grown man at 18 years old. Excited for what he brings to the table. Jaedon Wilson, he has really, really, really exceptional feet. Trying to bring along that strength. He has body control but the kind of strength and that kind of stature he needs to last throughout an SEC season. Excited about all three of them. They’re all three different types of guys, and I think they’re all three going to help us out here in the future.”
Kendall Catalon is a redshirt senior who is hoping to get into the regular rotation this fall. Guiton talked about what he has seen from Catalon.
‘He’s done some good things,” Guiton said. “He’s done some good things, man, and he’s stacking days on top of days at this point. He’s just trying to do his job. He’s not a loud guy who is going to be showboating about it or anything like that. He’s just doing his job and stacking days.”
A player who has drawn praise each day from the coaches, KJ Jefferson or the other players is Warren Thompson, a transfer from Florida State. Thompson has outstanding size and was highly recruited out of high school, but never quite got untracked with the Seminoles.
“Warren Thompson is doing great, doing awesome,” Guiton said. “You can see his potential and what he can do. Just a little held back right now, he hasn’t been in ball for a while. We’re trying to get him going, get him in shape — he’s in shape, but just trying to get him going where we can really evaluate him. So I’m excited about what he brings to the table. It’s easy to see that he’s got some ability.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields on Sunday.