Who’s next? Arkansas searching for next standout tight end

Credit: seccountry.com

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Razorbacks tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. has a whole lot of talent in his room right now.


Just not a whole lot of experience.


“It’s different,” Lunney said after practice Thursday. “But it’s a lot of fun because you’re getting to coach guys that are very eager. Not that those guys weren’t before, but they see an opportunity and they know how our offense lends itself to production of the tight end. That’s why they came here.”


Indeed.


Arkansas has become known for its excellent tight end play. In fact, Arkansas is the only football program with two John Mackey Award winners — D.J. Williams and Hunter Henry.


Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema puts high value on the position and for the first time in a few years, Arkansas is not returning an experienced player there. The Hogs had Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle 2 years ago, and Sprinkle was back last season.


Now, it’s on to a new generation of Arkansas tight ends.


“They see that it’s their turn to step into that and have the opportunity to make plays in the passing game,” Lunney said. “But before you can earn the right to do that, you’ve got to earn your stripes in the trenches. That’s just part of the transition in our scheme. That’s kind of some of the growing pains those guys have gone through during their time here.”


Cantrell a pass catcher?

One guy who hasn’t had much trouble adapting to the blocking aspect is sophomore Austin Cantrell.


“Austin is probably as good of a blocking tight end as I’ve had here — and really before I came here,” Bielema said this spring. “Austin Cantrell is a very special player.”


So there is little doubt Cantrell will play in 2017. The question, though, is whether he will be much of a factor in the passing game.


“He’s gonna naturally be involved in the passing game because he’s gonna be out there a lot,” Lunney said. “I think Austin has really good hands. I think he’s really improved as a route runner. People forget … I think you’re right. He gets kinda die-cast into being this road [grader] — and he is. He’s 270 or whatever. Now he can run. He was the anchor of his 4-by-1 in high school for a reason and it wasn’t just for giggles. He can run.


“But figuring out how to be the route runner, to tie up those loose ends, that’s something that he’s really progressed nicely in and I think we have a lot of confidence in him in the pass route structures and more importantly, I think Austin Allen has confidence that if he throws the ball, he’s gonna catch the ball for us.”


So Cantrell will be involved. But Arkansas prefers to play with multiple tight ends, so who else will play? There is fullback/tight end Hayden Johnson, who started 7 games last season as a true freshman.


Former top recruits Cheyenne O’Grady and Will Gragg have made strides this spring. Jack Kraus is another option.


Then there’s Jeremy Patton.


Patton still on track

As for Patton, Lunney said he is still on track to join the team this summer.


Patton — the top-rated junior-college tight end, per the 247Sports composite — was already supposed to be with the team, but that was pushed back to the summer.  


Asked how Patton will fit into the already crowded tight end room, Lunney said, “It’s hard to say. It’s always hard to say. I know this: One thing we’re confident in doing our research and getting to know Jeremy is he loves football and he’s a football rat.”


Still, Patton will have to get in shape and play catch-up considering the other guys have had all spring to learn the offense and get better.


“Certainly these guys have a leg up with the work they’ve gotten this spring,” Lunney said. “We signed him for a reason and that’s because we think he’s really talented and we think he can help us now. Hopefully he can.”


The post Who’s next? Arkansas searching for next standout tight end appeared first on SEC Country.


Top Stories

Travis Kelce Is Dating Instagram Model Kayla Nicole

Travis Kelce is dating Instagram model Kayla Nicole. 1 2 …3
  • 1 day ago
  • 15

2017 SEC Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, game times, TV channel

The 2017 SEC baseball Tournament begins on Tuesday, May 23. The regular season concluded on Saturday with Florida and LSU each earning a share of the regular season crown. The Gators, who took two of three from the Tigers back in March, will own the top seed in the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament. Action for the […] The post 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, game times, TV channel appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 days ago
  • 14

2017 NBA Playoffs: Live updates, schedule, scores, results for Cavaliers-Celtics Sunday (5/21/2017)

The 2017 NBA Playoffs will continue Sunday, May 21. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics will face off in an important Game 3 showdown in Cleveland. The Cavaliers have had their way with the Celtics throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. Cleveland is coming off a dominating 130-86 victory over Boston on Friday. Below find scores, live updates, schedule […] The post 2017 NBA Playoffs: Live updates, schedule, scores, results for Cavaliers-Celtics Sunday (5/21/2017) appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 days ago
  • 14

2017 NBA Playoffs: Schedule, live updates, scores results for Warriors-Spurs (5/22/2017)

The 2017 NBA Playoffs continue Sunday, May 21. And the Golden State Warriors will look to sweep the San Antonio Spurs. On Sunday, the Boston Celtics stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Avery Bradley hitting a 3-pointer with 0.1 left on the clock to win 111-108 Below find scores, live updates, schedule and results for the 2017 NBA Playoffs. 2017 […] The post 2017 NBA Playoffs: Schedule, live updates, scores results for Warriors-Spurs (5/22/2017) appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 2 days ago
  • 13

WATCH: Tennessee football WR signee Josh Palmer ‘heard about’ Neyland Stadium game day

MIRAMAR, Fla. — Josh Palmer is a rarity in Tennessee football’s 2017 signing class. Never mind that he’s originally from Canada, Palmer has never been to a college football game, much less one at Neyland Stadium where he’ll be suiting up this fall as an incoming receiver. “I’ve seen video of it,” said the 6-foot-2, […] The post WATCH: Tennessee football WR signee Josh Palmer ‘heard about’ Neyland Stadium game day appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 days ago
  • 13
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Sport

Report: Former Ole Miss OT Michael Oher doesn’t attend first day of voluntary OTAs, plans on minicamp

Former Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher missed the first day of voluntary organized team activities with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, but he reportedly plans to show for a mandatory minicamp in June. A source told ESPN’s David Newton that Oher plans to attend the minicamp from June 13-15 and that the player hopes to contribute for Carolina […] The post Report: Former Ole Miss OT Michael Oher doesn’t attend first day of voluntary OTAs, plans on minicamp appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 37 minutes ago

No. 1 Florida women’s tennis wins NCAA title with 4-1 win over Stanford

After a 4-year drought, the Florida women’s tennis team is a national champion once again. The top-seeded Gators earned their seventh national championship in the sport and first since 2012 with a 4-1 win over No. 7 seed Stanford on Tuesday night in Athens, Ga. It’s Florida’s fourth women’s tennis title in 16 years under […] The post No. 1 Florida women’s tennis wins NCAA title with 4-1 win over Stanford appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 37 minutes ago

CFB publication has Alabama at a familiar spot and CFB analyst explains why

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide Podcast with Ryan Fowler. Today, we talked with Mitch Light from Athlon Sports about the upcoming season and projections for the Crimson Tide   Topics discussed: Mitch Light from Athlon Sports talks about why his publication thinks Alabama is the team to beat in 2017 Who can block Alabama from winning […] The post CFB publication has Alabama at a familiar spot and CFB analyst explains why appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 2 hours ago

2018 DE Daniel Carson includes three SEC schools in his top 11

With the 2018 recruiting season in full swing, we are beginning to see numerous prospects narrow down their lists and release top 5s, 10s and 15s. The latest prospects to do so is SEC target Daniel Carson, a defensive end. On Tuesday night, Carson took to Twitter to release his top 11 schools. Included on […] The post 2018 DE Daniel Carson includes three SEC schools in his top 11 appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 2 hours ago

Petros Kyprianou continues respect quest for UGA track and field

You likely missed it. What’s more you probably don’t care, in that if you are a sports aficionado, you likely are most attracted to traditional events where a ball is engaged—football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis and now gathering momentum, soccer—that the record of Georgia legend Spec Towns was broken a little over a week ago. […] The post Petros Kyprianou continues respect quest for UGA track and field appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 2 hours ago

Troy coach Neal Brown says he would love to schedule Alabama and Auburn

There’s no doubt who the top two programs in the state of Alabama are. That would be the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama and the Tigers of Auburn University. But quietly, the Troy Trojans have emerged as yet another quality program in the Yellowhammer state, going 10-3 in 2016 with a win in […] The post Troy coach Neal Brown says he would love to schedule Alabama and Auburn appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago

Georgia baseball’s opener in SEC Tournament postponed until Wednesday morning

Georgia’s baseball team must wait to open SEC Tournament play. As relayed by ESPN’s Peter Burns, the game between Georgia and Mississippi State has been postponed until Wednesday. The teams will play in the first game of the day, with a 10:30 a.m. ET start. Georgia and Mississippi State were scheduled to start at 9 p.m. […] The post Georgia baseball’s opener in SEC Tournament postponed until Wednesday morning appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago

Mississippi State lands commitment from 4-star dual-threat QB

Mississippi State already has an incoming 4-star dual-threat quarterback this season, and Dan Mullen now has a commitment from yet another for next season. Jalen Mayden, a 4-star dual-threat quarterback from Sachse, Texas announced his commitment to the Bulldogs via Twitter on Tuesday night. He becomes just the second 4-star pledge for MSU in the […] The post Mississippi State lands commitment from 4-star dual-threat QB appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago

Mississippi State baseball’s opener in SEC Tournament postponed until Wednesday morning

Mississippi State’s baseball team must wait to open SEC Tournament play. As relayed by ESPN’s Peter Burns, the game between Georgia and Mississippi State has been postponed until Wednesday. The teams will play in the first game of the day, with a 10:30 a.m. ET start. Georgia and Mississippi State were scheduled to start at 9 […] The post Mississippi State baseball’s opener in SEC Tournament postponed until Wednesday morning appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago

Severe weather pushes back SEC Baseball Tournament by a game a day

HOOVER, Ala. – Rain and lightning in central Alabama have caused a bit of adjustment at this week’s SEC Baseball Tournament. Everything is pushed back one game, the league announced late Tuesday night, the tournament’s first day. A four-hour first game between South Carolina and Vanderbilt and a 106-minute rain delay in Game 2 between […] The post Severe weather pushes back SEC Baseball Tournament by a game a day appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 3 hours ago

Alabama’s newest commit, nicknamed ‘Fridge,’ was always going to choose the Crimson Tide once they offered

Deyavie (pronounced D-ahh-vee) Hammond was offered by Alabama on May 17. His recruitment was never going to last much longer than that. Hammond, a 2019 4-star offensive guard from Lakeland (Fla.) High School better known as ‘Fridge,’ was going to commit to Alabama this past Friday, but he couldn’t reach Tide offensive line coach Brent Key. […] The post Alabama’s newest commit, nicknamed ‘Fridge,’ was always going to choose the Crimson Tide once they offered appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 4 hours ago

Shaun Alexander said Cortez Kennedy mentored him in life skills

Shaun Alexander needed guidance when he was a young NFL player. The former Alabama running back told TMZ Sports that he turned to former teammate Cortez Kennedy for tutoring on life skills early in his NFL career. Kennedy, 48, died Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. Alexander, who played for Alabama  from 1996-99, remembers Kennedy and Ricky […] The post Shaun Alexander said Cortez Kennedy mentored him in life skills appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 4 hours ago