Red-White Game Players to Watch


Arkansas will hold its Red-White Game in Razorback Stadium at 1 p.m. Plenty of eyes will be on returning starters like QB Brandon Allen, TE Hunter Henry, RB Jonathan Williams and RB Alex Collins. But here’s a list of six other players to watch as the Razorbacks wrap up spring practices:

1. QB Austin Allen/Rafe Peavey — Brandon Allen is the unquestioned starter after his work this spring, but the quarterback debate doesn’t end there. Austin Allen and Rafe Peavey are the only two left on the depth chart after some mid-spring moves and are competing for the backup job. While Allen’s experiences gives him an edge for now, Peavey has shown some promise. Today’s game will be a good chance for either quarterback to gain a leg up on the other entering the long offseason.

2. TE A.J. Derby — Hunter Henry remains Arkansas’ best tight end. Jeremy Sprinkle has had a solid spring. But no one has made a quicker splash than Derby, who has impressed after just three weeks at the position. The former quarterback has embraced his move and is proving to be a legitimate target in the passing attack with some impressive catches. Derby still has a lot to learn at the position, but don’t be surprised if he pulls in an acrobatic catch or two during the Red-White game.

3. DE Deatrich Wise — Trey Flowers may not be available today, but his absence gives younger players a chance to perform in the spotlight. The list includes Wise, who had some promising moments in a reserve role last spring. Wise — who will work with the first-team defense — matured physically and mentally in the offseason. It has helped him become one of the Razorbacks’ leaders at the position.

4. LB Martrell Spaight — Spaight was known as a hard-hitting linebacker in fall camp, but didn’t make much of an impression in games during his first season with the Razorbacks. The junior college transfer has worked hard to become a well-rounded linebacker this spring, though, and has been productive in scrimmages. He’ll get a chance to produce once again today with the first-team defense.

5. LT Dan Skipper — At 6-foot-10, Skipper is hard to miss. Skipper started eight games at guard last season, but has returned to his natural position this spring and is Arkansas’ first-team left tackle. Skipper has brought aggressiveness and a mean streak to the position, leading to his share of scuffles with defensive players. The Razorbacks are fine with it — as long as he’s protecting Brandon Allen’s blind side.

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau