FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Carter along with two of his key cornerbacks met with the media following Sunday’s practice.
Both senior Montaric Brown and redshirt sophomore Hudson Clark are among a group that could prove to be a deep on at cornerback after years of being shy of depth there.
“Just being in here for awhile I feel I know the in’s and out’s,” Brown said. “I feel like the veteran leading those young guys. The young guys since they’ve been here have been stepping up and making improvements. I feel like it has been great so far.”
Brown has played in 29 games as a Razorback including 21 starts. He was limited to eight games last season. Brown finished with 31 tackles, including 20 solo, two for loss, a forced fumble, one interception and seven pass breakups.
Clark came to Arkansas as a preferred walk-on only to earn a scholarship after last season. Sam Pittman said following the Ole Miss game, when Clark intercepted three passes, that he would go on scholarship at the end of the season. Clark played in eight games with seven starts. He had 47 tackles, including 32 solo, a tackle for loss, six pass breakups and the three interceptions.
“I feel like we’ve definitely made strides along the way,” Clark said. “We’re all coming together all coming along really pushing each other and it’s really helping us.”
The key phrase among the cornerbacks is very competitive. Brown knows that will help them all get better as does the competition against Arkansas’ group of wide receivers in the one-on-one drills.
“It’s very competitive,” Brown said. “We go at it everyday. We make strides everyday.”
Brown has had a very good career at Arkansas after coming out of Ashdown High School as a four-star safety. He has found his home at cornerback, but he still worked hard in the offseason preparing for this fall.
“I wanted to work on my mental toughness,” Brown said. “My confidence. Just having confidence throughout the season and throughout the year. Last year it kind of went up and down. I want to be consistent with that and just keeping the confidence.”
Clark also worked to improve as he is in a battle at cornerback with LaDarrius Bishop and others for the starting job and playing time.
“The confidence and I want to be a little more physical on the ball,” Clark said. “Whether I’m tackling or covering use my hands more. I think that was a major point of emphasis for me.”
The Razorback secondary had a lot of success against both Mississippi State, who was fresh off a big win over LSU, and then Ole Miss.
“Just trusting what Coach (Barry) Odom trusting us to do,” Brown said. “His game plan and just trusting it.”
Clark also said trusting Odom and Coach Sam Carter was what led to the success in those games.
“I think we played best when we trusted what they say and do,” Clark said. “I think just being focused and just sticking to the game plan.”
Carter emphasized that everyone in the secondary is competing for a spot.
“Everybody is competing for a starting spot,” Carter said. “Right now Busta, Hud, Dae Dae (Bishop), Chase (Lowery) and all the younger guys. Whoever is performing is going to start for us.”
Carter has been impressed with Brown’s work ethic during the offseason.
“You can just tell he was in the weight room,” Carter said. “Coach (Jamil) Walker got him bigger and faster. He just has to trust what we’re doing and trust his technique. Busta is a football player. He’s our guy. He’s our No. 1 guy.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields on Monday for the fourth preseason practice.