FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas returns Brady Latham and Beaux Limmer on the offensive line thus leaving three spots open for Cody Kennedy and Sam Pittman.
Following Tuesday’s practice Pittman talked about options such as Patrick Kutas, E’Marion Harris, Andrew Chamblee, Joshua Braun, Ty’Kieast Crawford and others.
“You know, we’re moving that quite a little bit, as you well know — with Ty’Kieast and Chamblee and Kutas,” Pittman said. “We’ve worked Kutas with the 1s quite a little bit, those three with the 1st quite a little bit. But Braun has been a big-time addition to us. You talked about Brady and Beaux and that would be the other guys — Kutas, Crawford and Chamblee. And I’ll tell you a guy I like is (Josh) Street, as well. We feel like we’re eight or nine right there. And I like our two young kids. They’re not ready right now, but I do like how they’ve progressed so far in the six practices.”
Devon Manuel is another offensive tackle who has caught Pittman’s eye and has worked with the first unit some at left tackle.
“Devon Manuel is a guy that I think had a good first five practices,” Pittman said. “I haven’t seen, obviously, today’s. And Ty’Kieast Crawford is a guy that can play either position for us. We’re certainly trying to give him an opportunity to start for us, which he’s doing a good job.”
Joey Su’a and Patrick Patterson are the true freshmen who are practicing. In addition, Luke Brown will join that group when he mends from off-season surgery. Pittman is in no hurry to name a starting offensive line.
“And there’s several reasons behind that,” Pittman said. “I mean, part of it is, the damn portal opens up April 15, too. You start setting deadlines on who is 1 and all of that in spring ball and you start getting guys going in the portal. They don’t feel like they have a chance to win that position. So, we don’t really need to know who that is.
“We do need to find out…we practiced all the time we’d practice 1s, 2s and combos where it would be maybe your best…your quarterback is out or your left tackle is out or your center is out and then you play with those guys to build confidence around their teammates around them. But we’re kind of doing that everyday. And basically, so you’ll know, I’ve told our coaches to have somebody new in the starting lineup every single day at their position, except for KJ Jefferson.”
Pittman talked about how his philosophy has changed some as far as the offensive line.
“I think it first came up in my mind when we had injuries last year,” Pittman said. “At some positions we were ready for that, and some we weren’t. That was the beginning of the thinking of that. But the thing is that we’re really not going to play anybody until September, so we have plenty of time. It’s not like we’re not finding out where they can play.
“Have you ever noticed that you’ve got a 2 and he’s playing against a 2 and he’s kicking the other guy’s behind, and you put him with a 1 and he’s not doing anything? You’re going, ‘Man, this guy ought to be starting.’ Well, he never played against your top competition, so I think a little bit of that is helping us find out exactly who our real good players are and who we need to continue to develop. We’ve got to develop all of them, but in a second-team role.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields today at 4 p.m. for the seventh spring practice.