FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas Razorbacks defensive tackle Austin Capps has moved to the offensive line at left guard, completing a chain reaction that started earlier in the week with Razorbacks left guard Hjalte Froholdt practicing at center and Razorbacks defensive end McTelvin "Sosa" Agim practicing at defensive tackle.
Capps, a 6-4, 311-pound junior from Star City, opened preseason at backup defensive tackle after missing spring ball because of hernia surgery. Head coach Chad Morris confirmed Capps scrimmaged at backup left offensive guard on Saturday behind redshirt freshman Kirby Adcock.
Previously first-team left guard Froholdt snapped all first-team from center. Agim has played more defensive end than tackle, but scrimmaged on Saturday at tackle.
Morris informed the media after the scrimmage, which was closed to the media and general public at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Capps' move to the offensive line comes in the wake of incumbent left tackle Colton Jackson being ruled out until midseason because of back surgery in July. Other missing linemen include reserve guard Jalen Merrick, suffering from an apparent concussion; reserve guard Deion Malone, who had season-ending knee surgery; and freshman offensive lineman Ryan Winkel, shoulder injury.
Dylan Hays opened the preseason as the first-team center, but now is behind Froholdt. Hays returned Saturday after missing five practices with an ailing back.
Morris estimated Saturday's scrimmage featured 140-200 plays.
"That (Capps from defense to offense) will be a permanent move as we continue to develop depth," Morris said. "When I was watching him (Saturday), he did some good things. When I approached him, his mindset was, 'Coach, I just want to win football games,' and that's what we're looking for. We can win a lot of games with guys with great attitudes like that."
Senior starting weakside linebacker Dre Greenlaw was one of four players available to the media after the scrimmage. Greenlaw echoed Morris' sentiments on Capps.
"Everybody loves Capps," Greenlaw said. "He's a guy as a potential starter that doesn't mind going from one side to the other from defense to offense. You've got to be able to appreciate people like that."
Froholdt said snapping the ball is the biggest adjustment, but the switch also entails spatial adjustments moving from guard to center.
"Even though it's only a couple of inches, you're closer to the defender," Froholdt said. "You have to get your footwork in quicker. You have to get your hands up quicker considering they're right there in your face."
Froholdt noted Capps starred as both a defensive and offensive lineman at Star City.
"He's not a greenie," Froholdt said. "He's played offensive line before."
Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock noted that, too.
"Selfishly, I've been begging for him for awhile," Craddock said. "He's doing a heck of a job trying to learn."
Resting senior incumbent right tackle Brian Wallace joins Froholdt as nigh indispensable on the offensive line. Offensive line coach Dustin Fry scrimmaged a lot of novices trying to learn Saturday, including redshirt freshmen Dalton Wagner and Shane Clenin, true freshmen Noah Gatlin and Silas Robinson, and sophomore Ty Clary, variously cross-training throughout the line.
Defensive end Randy Ramsey was also withheld Saturday. Ramsey, Gabe Richardson, Michael Taylor and Junction City on the ends frees Agim to fill the tackle void inside.
"He's smart and can handle working both," said Joe Chavis, defensive coordinator. "But the majority of his work will be inside."
Morris was asked if either of the top two quarterbacks Ty Storey, the fourth-year junior from Charleston, or third-year sophomore Cole Kelley moved ahead in their dead heat battle to be the starter.
"Nope, no leader," Morris said. "I thought that Ty Storey did some really good things. He started the scrimmage out, and then Cole Kelley came in and he got the next rack of number ones. They both lead their team down the field, sustained some drives."
Storey, Kelley and walk-on quarterback Jack Lindsey all scrimmaged in no-contact caution jerseys. Lindsey is the holder for place-kick, which included two 50-yard plus field goals by Connor Limpert and a 50-plus by Preston Stafford on Saturday.
Morris said he scrimmaged true freshmen quarterbacks Connor Noland and John Stephen Jones and redshirt freshman Daulton Hyatt live contact.
"I wanted to see how those guys were going to move around with everything coming in hot around them" Morris said. I thought they all three did a great job moving the football and stepping in that pocket and escaping when they had to."
Morris most lauded junior Devwah Whaley among the running backs.
Defensively, Morris cited interceptions by true freshman Myles Mason and especially, Morris said, "a fantastic interception" by sophomore first-team cornerback Chevin Calloway.
Not given to superlatives coaching defense for 39 years, Chavis also was impressed.
"I'll see it on film because I was looking to see if he was going to come down in bounds," Chavis said. "But if I'm not mistaken he went up and got it with one hand. It was a big-time play."Sports on 08/12/2018
Print Headline: Razorbacks continue shuffle offensive, defensive lines