Depth In Secondary Allows Versatility For Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)--Arkansas's secondary outperformed its other defensive groups last season. And that was without potential starter Kevin Richardson, who was sidelined the entire year with a pectoral injury. Now the senior is healthy and joins a slew teammates competing for defensive back positions.

"The good news, I think we have probably, truly six to eight DBs and then Nate Dalton came in and did some good stuff. So, there's a handful before we even get these freshmen coming in and I think Korey Hernandez is in a position that might help us. So we're probably a little deeper and better at that position," coach Bret Bielema said.

The main defensive headline of the offseason has been the switch to a 3-4 defense. An offshoot of that is more nickel packages, which plays right in to the Hogs' depth.

"It helps everybody out on defense and puts the offense on alarm. You know, they're not able to predict where guys are coming, a fourth rusher let alone a fifth rusher," said Bielema.

Richardson's versatility is his best trait. "With K-Rich we feel really good obviously in that nickel spot, and does some good things. And he's a very explosive player, a guy that can play all five DB positions. The multiplicity and to be able to have variation on where people are coming is a positive," Bielema said.

With Josh Liddell, Santos Ramirez, Henre' Toliver returning, Bielema has enjoyed watching the growth of the secondary. "I really am happy with the growth of Santos Ramirez. I think he's maturity wise, coachibility, all the things are very very positive. Josh has always been a pretty standout leader.

After Saturday's second scrimmage, the Razorbacks have two weeks and six practices remaining in spring football. The final practice is the Red-White Game on April 29.