Arkansas still looking for wide receivers coming out of spring

Jared Cornelius is a proven target for Arkansas, but the rest of the Razorbacks wide receivers are inexperienced at the Division I level. Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

One hundred thirty-five catches.

Nearly 2,000 receiving yards.

Thirteen touchdowns.

This is what is missing from Arkansas' receiving corps after the departures of Drew Morgan, Keon Hatcher, Dominique Reed and Cody Hollister. That's a lot of production that no longer resides in the friendly confines of Arkansas' football facility. Outside of rising senior Jared Cornelius, no wide receiver returns with double-digit catches from the 2016 season.

Cornelius, who was limited this spring with a hamstring injury, is the only guaranteed starter. He caught 32 passes for 515 yards and four touchdowns last season and will begin the 2017 season as the unquestioned go-to receiver.

However, he's the only known when it comes to Arkansas' receivers. His injury allowed some of the Razorbacks' younger receivers to get valuable spring reps, but practice reps and speed and game reps and speed are totally different.

The Razorbacks think they have talent at the position, but that whole experience thing is out the window. Junior college transfers Brandon Martin, who was the No. 1 JUCO receiving prospect before arriving in Fayetteville, and Jonathan Nance are going to be two players Bret Bielema and offensive coordinator Dan Enos continue to push from here on out. Both showed flashes this spring, and while they aren't experienced at this level, their time in the JUCO ranks will help their confidence level going forward. Plus, Bielema seems to think they could turn into playmakers in Enos' offense.

"One thing that was very apparent from the first practice on, [Martin] and Jonathan both, they've got really good ball skills," Bielema said earlier this spring. "They understand route concepts. They understand football I think fairly well."

That's certainly a good start, but this summer will afford those two to show off their skills even more during 7-on-7 work leading into fall camp. That's where things get even more important for them, along with the host of younger receivers looking to help Cornelius out.

Sophomores Deon Stewart, La'Michael Pettway and T.J. Hammonds -- who moved from running back to slot receiver -- combined for three catches last season. Then, you have redshirt freshmen Jordan Jones and Kofi Boateng, who is coming off of an ACL injury he suffered last August.

Essentially, the Razorbacks will be working with a crew you haven't heard of and no one in the league has ever heard of. That's not always a bad thing, especially when you have an offensive mind like Enos has, but the Hogs are looking to compete in the SEC West this season. They've been so good at throwing the ball of late, but this will certainly be a very tall task for Enos and quarterback Austin Allen.