August 7, 2013

Wide-open at linebacker



There are nine scholarship linebackers and two walkons battling it out for three starting positions in what is the most competitive group in Arkansas' fall camp.

Every position on defense is up for grabs every day, but it's a pretty safe bet the defensive line is in order, and the secondary is three-fourths of the way complete as far as the starters are concerned. While there are leaders for the SAM and WILL linebacker posts, the MIKE is completely wide-open.

"Right now I'd say probably Braylon Mitchell and Jarrett Lake are clear favorites at the number one position at Sam and Will and at Mike there's competition," UA defensive coordinator Chris Ash said. "Mike linebacker right now is a position that's undecided. I mean, they all are, but that's probably the furthest away. We've probably got the most competition at that spot right now to determine who's going to be the guy."

Out of the spring, Daunte Carr emerged as the No. 1 MIKE, but Robert Atiga was nipping at his heals. Otha Peters finished off last season as the starting MIKE under the previous staff but battled a hip injury all spring, so the new staff did not get a good, healthy look at him.

Peters has gained 10 pounds over the summer and is now carrying 238. He has increased his bench press from 335 to 365 and has gone from 405 in the squat to 445 after nursing a hip injury.

"I got everything cleared. I've been...

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