Mike Woods Impressed With Pair of Freshmen Newcomers on Offense

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FAYETTEVILLE — Junior wide receiver Mike Woods was one of three Razorbacks participating in a teleconference with beat reporters this past Friday.

Among the topics that came up with Woods was he gave his impressions of tight end Blayne Toll and wide receiver Darin Turner. The two enrolled at midterm and were set to go through spring drills before the school and sport was basically shut down with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Both Toll and Turner signed in December with the Razorbacks and then started classes at midterm. Toll signed with the Razorbacks as a defensive lineman, but was moved to tight end due to a shortage of players there. Turner and Toll were among the players originally committed to Chad Morris who signed with Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks.

Toll, 6-5, 244, played all over the field for Hazen. He played some tight end, quarterback and then on the defensive line. As a senior, Toll caught 14 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing six times for 67 yards and a touchdown. Woods likes what he has seen from Toll.

“I think Blayne Toll is a very huge human, especially for his age,” Woods said. “I think he’s going to be real good. He’s getting his technique down and stuff like that, but overall he’s just a very huge human. I think he’s going to be really good.”

Pittman was very complimentary of Toll as well on a recent teleconference.

“Well, first of all, he’ll do anything for the team,” Pittman said. “He’s such a great kid. Second of all, we feel like we needed another tight end. Well, when he was running in the offseason, the guy can fly. It doesn’t hurt to have somebody who can fly off the defensive edge, too, we know that. But the bottom line is we basically said if we get Xavier Kelly that we were going to move Blayne over to tight end and see if he couldn’t help us. If we didn’t, we were going to leave Blayne there, and maybe move a kid like Cade Pearson, or somebody like that, to tight end, who is a hard-working kid with a good body on him. He’s got good size. So when we got Kelly the next day, we talked to Blayne and he was very positive about the move.

“He’s done a really good job over there in the walkthroughs. We felt like we needed to move him if we were going to move him so he didn’t get behind the installs and things of that nature. We moved him over there, and he’s a talented guy. He looks like a tight end, and he can run, so we feel like we’re really fortunate to have him there and on our team, and at that position of tight end.”

Turner, 6-3, 206, also played both ways for his high school squad. He caught 20 passes for 331 yards and five touchdowns.

“DT, yeah, he’ll be really good for us too as well in addition also,” Woods said. “He’s going through some technique and getting better every day. He’s working out real good. He put on a lot of weight. He put on like 15 pounds or something of weight gain. He’s up there like in the 200s. So he’s a good-looking dude as far as body and I think he’ll be real good for us as well.”

Pittman had talked about Turner as well on a recent teleconference.

“We really don’t have much coming in from the freshman class because Darin Turner is already here and he’s doing a nice job, but it’ll take a little bit for him probably to adjust,” Pittman said.

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