As a group, the Hogs’ receivers are easily the best in the SEC, and you’re going to be looking for a long time to find a receiving corps any better in all of college football.
Yet, scan the first- and second-team All-SEC lists from a year ago, and you won’t find a single Arkansas receiver.
Senior Joe Adams isn’t surprised. Besides, he said it isn’t about individual glory for anybody on the Arkansas team as the Hogs look forward to bigger and better things in 2011.
“We’re just looking to get a ring,” Adams said. “We’re not worried about All-America honors. With three or four guys, you really can’t have an All-American when we all go over 600 yards every season. It’s kind of hard to have All-Americans when you have that kind of balance. We don’t focus on that. We just focus on making each other better players.”
They didn’t pile up those numbers against the weaker teams, either.
Adams and Hamilton tied for fifth in the NCAA with four receiving touchdowns each against Top 25 opponents.
Childs’ numbers would have been even better, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the eighth game. He’s not going through spring practice, but Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Childs is already running routes on some days and should be full go in plenty of time for the start of preseason practice.
The best part about the Hogs’ arsenal of receivers is that they’re all a little bit different.
“Greg [6-foot-3, 217] is a bigger guy we like to throw deep balls to or send him on an inside route on a slant,” said the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Wright, who was the fastest player on the team with a 4.27-second 40-yard dash in the Hogs’ recent testing.
“I’m more of a speed guy, and Joe [5-11, 190] is the guy who gets all the yards after the catch. We take pride in blocking for each other down the field. That’s the other thing about us. We’re not selfish. We like to see each other make plays.”
Along with Adams, Childs and Wright are both seniors. The 6-3, 209-pound Hamilton is a junior.
“Cobi Hamilton just goes out there quietly and makes huge plays and has helped us win some big games,” Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. “Maybe we need to play in Little Rock every time, because every time we play in Little Rock, Cobi dominates the game.”
Hamilton had a career-high 164 receiving yards with two touchdowns in the 31-23 win over LSU last season in Little Rock.
With Petrino’s flair for calling plays and exploiting weaknesses in the defense, chances are that one of the big four is always going to be open.
“It’s kind of hard to key on one player when you have receivers out there like us,” said Adams, one of the best players after the catch in the SEC. “You can’t key on me inside, because Greg and Jarius can blow the top off your defense. And when the run game is hitting with Knile [Davis] running like he did last year, you’re not going to stop all of us.”
Adams, though, said nothing changes.
Wilson was part of the same signing class with Adams, Childs and Wright, and this is the second spring that Wilson has taken first-team reps. A year ago, he was filling in for Mallett, who was out with a broken bone in his foot.
“Tyler came in with our class, so we knew he was going to be our quarterback,” Adams said. “The chemistry was already there, and we’ve thrown and caught a lot of passes together. We had the timing down a long time ago. It’s only going to get better.”