Burton Productive In Return

The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Sep 24, 2008


Sophomore linebacker Freddy Burton more than made up for lost time in Arkansas’ 49-14 loss to No. 8 Alabama last Saturday. Burton returned to the Arkansas lineup after a two-game suspension stemming from a drunk-driving arrest this past summer and produced immediately.

Despite being limited to 25 defensive snaps and special-teams action, Burton recorded a team-high 11 tackles, including four that came on special teams.

Freddy Burton is doing a nice job for us,” Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said. “I mean, he’s doing a really good job. He did a really good job on special teams for us last week.

“That was a great, great pickup for us.”

The Morrilton native was named to the first-team SEC all-freshmen team by the league’s coaches and led the Razorbacks in special teams tackles. So Burton, a 6-foot-2, 221-pounder, was expected to be a constant in the Arkansas defense this season after a strong freshman season.

His arrest, and subsequent suspension, delayed those plans. But Burton said he ensured that he benefited from his time on the sidelines.

“I worked out hard, paid attention close in practice and worked hard on the scout team,” Burton said.

He said the whole situation has made him stronger.

“I messed up, made a mistake and sat out my two games,” Burton said. “And I was out there cheering the team the whole time, wishing them the best of luck. So, you make mistakes, learn from them and move on, and that’s where I’m at right now, moving on.”



Work In Progress

Texas has had its share of dominant running backs over the past few years, including Cedric Benson and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams.

After three games this season, though, no Longhorns tailback has emerged from a crowded backfield and proven to be that dominant runner who can carry the load himself.

Quarterback Colt McCoy is Texas’ leading rusher with 25 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, a trio of running backs — redshirt freshmen Cody Johnson and Foswhitt “Fozzy” Whittaker and sophomore Vondrell McGee and — have each gotten at least a dozen carries and gained at least 75 yards.

“We’re averaging 204 yards a game rushing. At most places that’d be OK,” Texas coach Mack Brown said this week. “We would like to have two running backs each gain 200 yards every game, and we’re probably not going to get that.

“But yes, we feel like it’s a work in progress because we’ve got four or five guys doing it now.”



Immediate Improvement

Robinson said Tuesday was “probably our best Tuesday practice” this season, a happening that surely gives him confidence heading into another stiff challenge Saturday at No. 7 Texas.

“Our kids are focused for this game,” Robinson said. “We had a really good Tuesday practice. And I’ll tell you what, we had a good Wednesday practice. It’s a matter of finishing practice.”

Producing positive results in Austin will be more about an entirely different matter, Robinson said.

“Like Gene Hackman said in (the film) The Replacements, ‘what’s it take?’” Robinson said, pausing to hit himself in the chest with his rolled-up notes. “Heart.”

Sophomore defensive end Jake Bequette said he and his defensive teammates reacted well to criticism.

“It’s all been constructive,” Bequette said. “The coaches took the opportunity to call some people out — pretty much the whole defense — but we all came out determined to improve this week.”



Miller Still Out

Junior receiver Lucas Miller didn’t practice again on Wednesday because of a concussion he suffered in Saturday’s loss to Alabama.


Related Stories
Burton Pays Fine
 -by HawgsIllustrated.com  Aug 8, 2008
Burton Pays Fine
 -by HawgsIllustrated.com  Aug 8, 2008

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