Schedule: Practice starts Thursday at 4 p.m. ET for the newcomers and 7:30 p.m. ET for the veterans. The first day in full pads is Monday (Aug. 9).
What’s new: Bobby Petrino brought in Chris Klenakis from Nevada to coach the offensive line. Klenakis’ expertise with the “Pistol” offense will enhance that part of the Hogs’ package. Garrick McGee was promoted to offensive coordinator after Paul Petrino left for Illinois, although Bobby Petrino will still call plays. Kris Cinkovich is the new receivers coach and Steve Caldwell the new defensive ends coach.
Key battle: With Rudell Crim moving to safety, that opens up what should be a hotly contested battle for the two starting cornerback spots. Junior Isaac Madison returns from a knee injury that caused him to miss all of last season, while senior Ramon Broadway and sophomore Darius Winston are also eyeing starting roles.
New on the scene: The Hogs need some help at linebacker, which is where true freshman Braylon Mitchell comes in. True freshman kickers Eduardo Camara and Zach Hocker could give senior Alex Tejada a run if he’s not more consistent. True freshman Byran Jones is one to watch at defensive tackle, and the Hogs think true freshman defensive end Chris Smith can bolster their pass-rush off the edge.
Breaking out: Ronnie Wingo Jr. has the size, speed and explosiveness to be one of the SEC’s top running backs after playing in all 13 games last season as a freshman. Pushing 230 pounds, Wingo was timed at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash this spring.
Don’t forget about: Tenarius Wright missed the spring with a foot injury. He’d hoped to play linebacker in college, but is better suited to play defensive end. He only scratched the surface of his potential last season as a freshman and still finished with seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.
All eyes on: Junior quarterback Ryan Mallett. Everybody will be watching to see how he moves after undergoing two different surgical procedures to repair a broken bone in his left foot this offseason. Mallett just recently returned to full speed after sitting out spring practice. He had a second procedure in June to replace the screw in his foot.
Quoting: “Nobody expects more out of us than we do ourselves. If you want to call that pressure, fine. Our goal is to win a championship, and we don’t mind saying so.” – Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams