Henry, Zimos getting extra time with Odom at practice
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FAYETTEVILLE — It’s difficult to glean much during the 15-minute periods of practice Arkansas opens up to the media.
The Razorbacks spend that time doing individual drills, with the offense on one field and defense on the other, and - other than the offensive line sometimes - the positions rarely get into formations that give a glimpse of the depth chart.
Something that has jumped out to reporters at the two viewing periods this week, though, has been linebackers Hayden Henry and Zach Zimos getting extended one-on-one work with defensive coordinator Barry Odom.
Those two players are strong-side linebackers, fifth-year senior Grant Morgan confirmed Tuesday. Although they’ve primarily used a 4-2-5 defense throughout camp, it appears the Razorbacks are working on some three-linebacker sets this week.
“Coach Odom is as multiple a guy as can be,” Morgan said. “We're going to run so many different things and that's why we love him. We're going to have a lot of different fronts, we're going to have a lot of different things (where) we need a bigger 'backer.”
Henry, the middle child of three Razorback sons of a former Arkansas player, has been listed as the starter at the position the last couple of years, but has made just one start because the pass-happy offenses in today’s game typically require an extra defensive back - the nickel.
He’ll presumably be listed as the starter again in 2020, with Zimos - a former four-star recruit and redshirt freshman - backing him up.
With all of the defensive backs together and working with assistant Sam Carter, Odom - who usually coaches the safeties - was freed up to put Henry and Zimos through drills. While their teammates were in larger groups, they got very little rest between reps as Odom put them through drill after drill.
“They were the only two guys there,” Morgan said. “Odom was just focused right on them. He was making them tackle, making them get up and run, making them go do it again.”
Morgan said he talked to Henry after practice Tuesday just to see what it was like and the senior admitted it was challenging. However, he also felt like it was beneficial learning from Odom, whose 362 career tackles as a linebacker still rank seventh in Missouri history.
“He was just saying it's awesome because of how much knowledge he has,” Morgan said. “(Odom) brings it and he just focuses all on you, and you can kind of open his mind up and get him to laugh and joke about it.”