Saturday, August 06, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Hogs missing some players from 105-man roster

Special to The Leader

FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Arkansas starting defensive end Tevin Beanum of Forrest City was among some notable Razorbacks not included on the 105-man preseason roster that reported Wednesday to coach Bret Bielema at the Fred Smith Football Center and began practicing Thursday.

Beanum, a two-year letterman and returning starter, was excused from spring practice last April to tend to issues at his Forrest City home.

Apparently some of those and other personal issues remain unresolved, so Beanum remains not reporting but still could join the team when UA classes begin Aug. 22, and the roster expands with time for him to practice before the Sept. 3 season-opener against Louisiana Tech at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“It’s nothing negative. I mean that in the most sincere way,” Bielema said. “Tevin has got a situation that he just needs to get control of. It’s something that’s a very unique and individual thing with him. If he ever wants to share it, he will.

“There’s just a million things going on right now. He’d had a really good summer. And then had a slight setback about two, three weeks ago. He’s in summer classes right now. Did a really nice job this last week. He will finish classes on Friday. Then he’s going to go through a time frame where we’ve got some stuff set up with him, trying to make him get better over the next week.”

Is this related to the issues besetting him last spring?

“It’s all related, yeah,” Bielema replied. “It’s kind of an evolution as well, but again, it’s nothing negative. There’s no shenanigans involved. As coaches, we deeply love and care about him. Unfortunately, he’s got a little scenario that he has to deal with on a daily basis. It’s something that’s never gonna probably truly ever go away, but it’s something that I think he’s tried to handle the best he can. We just want to give him the support to do it.”

Recently signed junior college transfer defensive end Michael Taylor still has to have his eligibility paperwork cleared and likely won’t report until fall semester classes start, Bielema said.
Some who are on scholarship or have played in games for the Razorbacks that are not in the reporting 105 include fullback Chris Jones, running back Juan Day and incoming freshman scholarship linebacker Giovanni LaFrance, among others.
LaFrance is unable to practice because of an injured hand, Bielema reported Thursday after his 12:30 p.m. press conference.

The others were weighed on merits for the 105 allowed before fall classes begin.

“We are very excited that we have enough talent that we have to make some difficult decisions that are hard to make,” Bielema said. “I think it’s a sign of the depth of your roster. I have never been a guy that just automatically invites your 85 scholarship players.”

Among those transferring elsewhere from the UA, Bielema mentioned linebacker Derrick Graham and possibly defensive tackle K’Tyrus Marks, exploring graduate transfer possibilities and previously announced departing players Eric Hawkins, Denzell Evans and Willie Sykes.

Bielema wished them all well.

“It’s nothing that they did,” Bielema said. “Nothing that violated any policies with the program. Just a better opportunity for them and I understand transition happens.”

Bielema was asked about the practice availability of third-year sophomore backup quarterback Rafe Peavey coming off what Bielema has called minor back surgery earlier this summer.

“Rafe is throwing,” Bielema said. “I’m not saying he’s going to be able to throw the whole practice, but he threw with the trainers and the other guys. He’s cleared to go. It just depends on how much he’s able to tolerate during the course of the day.”

Bielema also said incoming freshman quarterback Cole Kelley strained his back in the weight room two weeks ago, but is cleared to practice.

Several Razorbacks coming off injuries, including receivers Keon Hatcher and Cody Hollister, running back Kody Walker, cornerback DJ Dean, tight end Jack Kraus and defensive end Brandon Lewis, will be monitored closely and likely only practice once a day during the five allowed two-a-day practices that begin next week.

Also monitored and heartily welcomed back after infections following a leg injury threatened his football career two years ago, senior linebacker Josh Williams, is on the 105-man roster.

Since Williams has only this active eligibility season remaining after missing last year, Bielema said he will be given a shot at fullback if playing time doesn’t develop quickly at linebacker.

Thursday night’s practice was briefly opened to media, revealing that redshirt freshman Zach Rogers opened first-team at right offensive guard, also contested by third-year sophomore Brian Wallace.

Reserve linebacker Randy Ramsey has moved to defensive end with Beanum’s absence.

Five-star freshman McTelvin “Sosa” Agim of Hope and junior Karl Roesler compete at a defensive end spot with preseason All-SEC senior Deatrich Wise starting at the opposite defensive end.

The Hogs practiced Thursday and Friday, and will practice again today in half pads. They’ll be off Sunday, other than their annual Media Day responsibilities, and will practice Monday in half pads before Tuesday’s first contact practice in full pads.