FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers has been held out of the Razorbacks’ scrimmages this spring. He’ll be watching from the sidelines on Saturday as well when the Razorbacks wrap up spring drills with the Red-White Game.
Flowers said Arkansas’ coaches have decided to hold him out once again, sticking with the spring policy. Flowers is not injured, but the Razorbacks don’t want to risk something happening to their defensive leader as they prepare for the 2014 season.
“It’s going to be pretty hard,” Flowers said about missing his final Red-White Game with the Razorbacks. “But I understand the reasoning behind it. I’m just looking forward to coaching the young guys and helping them get their reps.”
Flowers said he’ll remain active even though he’s not playing, working as a coach for some of Arkansas’ young defensive linemen. Deatrich Wise and JaMichael Winston will likely start at the defensive end positions during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“Obviously I can’t play every snap of every game,” Flowers said. “Twos have to come in. Threes have to come in. Or some things happen that I get a little nicked up and the next guy has to be ready to roll. So it’s important for them to get those reps and continue to get experience so they can come out in the fall and produce.”
Wise said Flowers’ absence presents another opportunity for the defensive ends, which are looking to bolster a rotation that included departed starter Chris Smith last season. Wise performed well in a reserve role last season, but will be counted on for more along with Winston, Brandon Lewis and Tevin Beanum next season.
Lewis said the young group also realizes Arkansas wants to make sure Flowers remains healthy for preseason camp in August.
“We want to protect Trey,” Lewis said. “He’s like our jewel. We need him. We know Trey is going to be ready for the season, and that’s when we need him.
2. Coleman’s Mistake
Senior TQ Coleman was frustrated about his move from safety to linebacker earlier this spring. But he also admitted Wednesday taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure wasn’t exactly a wise move.
“I really shouldn’t have done it,” Coleman said. “It was a distraction from my team. But it’s just a lot of frustration, especially with this being one my last years and me feeling like I’m capable of doing some things that a lot of people can’t. It’s just a little frustration, but I mean, I really shouldn’t put that out there like that.”
Coleman made amends for the public displeasure and said he’s learning to embrace the position. It’s not easy considering he weighs 200 pounds, but is improving.
In fact, teammate Brooks Ellis said Coleman is doing a great job.
“He’s a cannibal,” Ellis said. “He just goes in there and fires away. … He explodes and tackles so phenomenally. He does a great job of hitting people.”
3. Spring Game Debut
Four newcomers — quarterback Rafe Peavey, receivers Cody Hollister and Jared Cornelius and cornerback Chris Murphy — will make their spring game debuts.
Murphy is the only newcomer on the defensive side of the ball and coordinator Robb Smith said the freshman has taken advantage of the 15 practices.
“I’m pleased the way he has picked things up,” Smith said. “A couple of months back he was in high school. He’s really done a nice job there. This will be a big summer for him in the weight room and strength and conditioning wise.”
It’s not clear if Murphy — who has worked with the third-team defense much of the spring — will be part of the playing rotation at cornerback next season. The Razorbacks have five players back in Tevin Mitchel, Carroll Washington, Will Hines, Jared Collins and D.J. Dean.
4. Spring Game Basics
Arkansas announced the format for its spring-ending scrimmage Saturday.
The offensive and defensive starters will be on the red team, while the rest of the Razorbacks will play for the white. Arkansas also will hold a kicking exhibition at the end of the first and third quarters and add those points to the scoreboard.
The scrimmage begins at 1 p.m. and admission is free. It also will be broadcast by Cox Sports Television and on ESPN3 outside of the CST coverage area.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau