FAYETTEVILLE — Redshirt senior offensive lineman Brady Latham is one of the more versatile Razorbacks and it’s showing this spring.
Latham is the returning starter at left guard, but has also lined up at both tackle spots this spring. Latham talked about how that is by design with Sam Pittman and Cody Kennedy with three starters from 2022 now gone.
“So Coach Pittman and Coach Kennedy have been moving everyone around trying to see what works and what doesn’t work,” Latham said. “I’ve played guard and then both tackles spots. I’ve enjoyed it and I think everyone’s kind of having fun at the new positions.”
In addition to the need for three new starters on the offensive line, Latham and the Hogs have a new offensive coordinator. Dan Enos replaced Kendal Briles in the offseason.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” Latham said. “It is different than our last offense, but it’s still football and things are still similar. We’ve been working on it and running it really well and it’s been working really good out at practice. It’s still inside zone, outside zone, stuff like that, but just a little bit different twist. So we do a little bit of everything. We do fast tempo, we do slow it down, we huddle some. I think you’ll see a mix of all of it.”
While he has proved his versatility the one thing that Latham hasn’t done is play center.
“I snap a little bit before practice, but Beaux (Limmer) is pretty good at center,” Latham said. “So I think we’re good there.”
Two offensive linemen who have lost a lot of weight are E’Marion Harris and Devon Manuel. Both were around 370 or so and now are close to 300.
“So I think both of them came in really heavy and they worked really hard to kind of get that bad weight [off] them,” Latham said. “They are both looking really good and moving really good. They’ve both had great springs, but I think now they have gotten the weight off of them, they have been working with the strength coaches trying to put on good weight back, and they have been doing a good job of that.”
Among the younger offensive linemen who has impressed is sophomore Patrick Kutas. Pittman has heaped a lot of praise on Kutas and he has caught Latham’s eye as well.
“Kutas has been having a great spring,” Pittman said. “He’s been balling out. He’s a young guy, but you wouldn’t know it watching him on the field. He’s super physical and really strong. He has great hands, and so I think they’re really trying to find him a spot, and he’s been playing great. He’s been at guard and tackle a little bit, and he’s a young guy, but you wouldn’t know it. He plays really well.”
Latham and Limmer are the two returning starters on the offensive line. They have been joined by such talent as Kutas, Harris, Manuel, Andrew Chamblee, TyKieast Crawford, Joshua Braun and Josh Street as well as others.
“So we’re really lucky to have a pretty close offensive line room,” Latham said. “It is kind of weird being an old guy and one of the oldest in the room, so I think it is good for me to use my experience to help them and show them how to become better football players, but we have a really close offensive line room that gets along pretty well, so it’s nice.”
Taurean Carter is one of the defensive line’s key players on the other side. He has battled Latham in practice and has plenty of praise for him.
“Right, his versatility first off,” Carter said. “It’s hard for an offensive lineman to play each individual position, except for the center. I’m sure he could probably play center, but Beaux’s got that on lockdown. His technique, he’s more technique sound. Like, he’s more fundamentals. He’ll make you have to react like you need to lock in on his hands because he’s going to shoot them. It’s just little stuff in the game in the trenches that he picks up on that others may not. Others may struggle with that.”
Latham and the Hogs will return to the practice fields on Tuesday. The spring game is at noon on April 15. Arkansas opens the 2023 season in Little Rock on Saturday, Sept. 2, against Western Carolina at War Memorial Stadium.