Alvin Bailey reports to Arkansas rededicated, trim and focused
BY NATE ALLEN World Correspondent
Sunday, August 19, 2012
8/19/12 at 7:32 AM
2012 College Football
Preview: What to expect from OU, OSU and TU this football season.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Explanations have varied about Arkansas' Alvin Bailey becoming perhaps the country's only candidate on both the Outland Trophy watch list and Lombardi Award watch list who is beginning the season as a backup.
But nobody doubted Bailey, a junior from Broken Arrow, would work to get back to No. 1. It seems he has done just that, getting the bulk of first-team snaps before the Hogs' first preseason scrimmage on Aug. 11.
Bailey, outstanding the past two years as a starting offensive guard, first started appearing on the second team last spring.
Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis talked of creating competition, and offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said first-teamers should take nothing for granted - even first-teamers named 2011 second-team All-SEC.
Head coach John L. Smith added academics to the mix when asked about Bailey during the annual Media Day on Aug. 4.
"The first thing I want to see is real good grades from this summer," Smith said. "We have to be, and he has to be, more demanding of himself academically. That's the first key for him. Show these guys that you're going to be there with them. Show these guys that you're going to do what's demanded academically, and he'll get that done."
Klenakis has a history of promoting backups to create competition. In 2010, he permanently moved current Rimington Award candidate Travis Swanson ahead of then-incumbent center Seth Oxner.
"I don't worry about who is up for what trophies," Klenakis said. "All I am worried about is getting the Razorbacks better and for us to win on Saturday."
Klenakis always asserted Bailey could handle it.
"Alvin is working on that and working hard to handle those things," Klenakis said.
Teammates never doubted their popular pillar would bounce back.
"Alvin is responding great," Swanson said. "He has always been a competitor. He doesn't have that bad attitude you would think, that 'I have done this, but now I am here.' He is still working as hard as he can."
Paul Petrino said, "Yeah, Alvin is doing a good job playing well. He just needs to keep working hard."
He couldn't have worked much harder to report trimmer. An awfully good 6-foot-5 player at 325 pounds, Bailey would be great if he shed weight, Klenakis said last season.
Now, Bailey does more with less.
"I am about 310," Bailey said. "I focused harder than I ever have this summer on getting prepared and getting my body ready for the season. I am in the best shape I have been in in my life. I am ready to get out here and get better every day and get better as a team."
Bailey can do both, Klenakis says.
"He's perfect," Klenakis said. "He's 310 and needs to be 310. I've noticed in camp his movement is so much better and his conditioning is so much better and his stamina is so much better. Because in the fourth quarter when you are grinding and leaning on somebody and somebody is leaning on you, you have to have great stamina. This is going to help Alvin."
Original Print Headline: BA's Bailey roars back for Hogs
ARKANSAS PLAYERS WITH LOCAL TIES
Jr., Broken Arrow | OG, 6-5, 312
Fourth-year junior and two-year starter, Bailey is Arkansas' most heralded current Oklahoman. Named second-team All-SEC last year by the AP, Bailey was voted 2012 preseason first-team All-SEC and is on the watch lists for the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and the Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker).
Bailey has started 26 consecutive games and has impressed coaches with a rededicated preseason after a subpar spring.
"He's doing good things," offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. "He just needs to keep progressing."
RS Fr., Nowata | OT, 6-7, 307
Redshirt year was hampered by injuries. For now he's behind the curve and likely will do more apprenticing this year but has potential to help down the road.
Jr., Booker T. Washington | S, 6-0, 206
Started every game at safety last season and had three interceptions. A hamstring injury has nagged him during the preseason but Bennett is counted on, defensive coordinator Paul Haynes says, to be a contributor and leader as the lone experienced safety.
"For him, it's to make sure when the ball is in the air he is going to get it," Haynes said. "And take care of his body because he is not the biggest person."
Fr., Booker T. Washington | CB, 6-0, 160
Expected to help in the future but appears certain to redshirt and devote 2012 to the weight room.
Of freshman cornerbacks Collins, Ray Buchanan and Will Hines, Haynes said, "Those guys have to build their bodies up. But Ray and Hines and Jared are all going to be very, very good players for us. They all have great feet and great hips and that's what you have got to have to be a corner."Keon Hatcher
Fr., Owasso | WR, 6-2, 205
The Razorbacks need him to play right away, and judging by his early preseason performances, he's ready.
"He has come in as skilled as we thought he would be," receivers coach Kris Cinkovich said. "He has been kind of a leader in the younger group."
Jr., Jenks | LB, 6-3, 223
A two-year letterman mainly on special teams, Lake has been all over the linebacker map, but Haynes and new linebackers coach Taver Johnson are convinced he works best from outside.
"Jarrett Lake is very athletic," Johnson said. "That's why we have him playing in space. He is picking up things there a lot better."
Fr., Norman | RB, 6-0, 200
With 2010 All-SEC running back Knile Davis returned healthy off a 2011 broken ankle and senior running backs Dennis Johnson, (first-team preseason All-SEC All-Purpose) and Ronnie Wingo back after carrying the running back load in Davis' absence, Roberts is a sure thing to redshirt.
Jr., Muskogee | DT, 6-3, 308
Impressed last year as a sophomore JC transfer playing 12 games, even while overweight and dogged by injuries.
Now he's counted upon to be a big cog in the defensive front that coach John L. Smith and Haynes call "the strength of our defense."
Sr., Union | LB, 6-3, 232
Kind of a taken-for-granted reserve, though he's played every game for three years, Williams is on the first team after starting senior linebackers Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright missed early preseason practices with injuries.
"He's doing good," linebackers coach Taver Johnson said. "He's done some good things and taken care of business."