Arkansas QB Brandon Allen
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema concluded his first spring practice session with the Razorbacks on Saturday, when the Red Team topped the White Team 34-27 in the Red-White game.
But the head hog wasn't done making news.
In Bielema's press conference wrapping up spring practice, he released his post-spring depth chart to members of the media in Fayetteville (h/t Robert Turbeville of Hawgs247.com for transcribing it).
So were there any surprises?
The buzz in Fayetteville as spring practice progressed was that sophomore Brandon Allen had taken a slight lead over senior Brandon Mitchell in the race to take the top spot on the depth chart at quarterback. Allen completed 11 of 16 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, while Mitchell completed 12 of 17 passes for 138 yards and a score.
“Brandon Allen really from the first week until the game that you saw on Saturday made progress all the way along,” Bielema told the Arkansas News Bureau on Monday. “But just really the last weeks have been exceptional."
The two were pretty even on the game's biggest stage, which means Allen must have been doing something right behind closed doors.
Mitchell possess the dual-threat capabilities that can make him dangerous in the offense under new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. With so much uncertainty on the roster on offense, having Mitchell's ability to make things happen with his legs would be a nice insurance policy for the coaching staff.
It is a bit surprising to see Demetrius Wilson listed above Mekale McKay at one of the wide receiver sports.
McKay caught 21 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns a year ago as a freshman and is Arkansas' leading returning wide receiver in terms of receiving yards. The 6'6", 195-pounder has the frame to be a weapon over the middle and the size to be a weapon downfield against smaller defensive backs.
Will Arkansas make a bowl game in 2013?
But Wilson has talent.
He only caught nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown last season, but the 6'3", 181-pound senior caught four passes for 70 yards and a score in the spring game.
Arkansas' wide receiving corps is loaded, and the fact that Wilson is above McKay is an indication that maybe the pass-happy days in Fayetteville didn't disappear with the Petrinos after all.
Will Hines was a starter last season at cornerback under former head coach John L. Smith but not under Bielema. Jared Collins, a 6'0", 169-pound redshirt freshman from Tulsa, Okla., was listed as the starter opposite Tevin Mitchel at cornerback for the Hogs.
I'd consider that battle more fluid than normal position battles this summer, but Hines was solid last season, tallying 24 tackles and one pick. Combine the two corners with Rohan Gaines and Eric Bennett at safety, and Arkansas' secondary will be better than advertised in 2013.
We got a glimpse of the future of the Arkansas football program this spring. On Monday, the specific personnel that will lead the program into the future was brought into a little bit more focus.