A couple of Razorbacks with local ties just wrapped up the 2019 spring football season at The University of Arkansas. Second-year Head Coach Chad Morris was in Pine Bluff Monday to speak to the Razorback Club, and he was able to comment on Pine Bluff native Simeon Blair and Star City native Austin Capps.
Morris has become familiar with both Blair and Capps, since they were both there with him throughout his first year on the hill.
Blair, a red-shirt freshman who played two years at Pine Bluff Dollarway and his senior year at Pine Bluff High, has made a complete transformation to a defensive back as a walk-on. Throughout high school, Blair was a starting quarterback that stuck his nose in on defense at times.
As a senior at PBHS, Blair completed 102/170 passes for 1,641, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. Blair carried the ball 144 times for 1,079 and 19 touchdowns while averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Blair has channeled his athleticism into becoming the best defensive back he can, and Morris feels he has shown improvement over the spring.
“He red-shirted last year, and he had a good spring,” Morris said. “We’re excited about him. He got a lot of reps this spring, and he got better. We’ll continue, and we’re excited about a great summer.”
Senior offensive lineman Capps made a transition during his time as a Razorback as well. Capps was recruited as a four-star defensive lineman out of Star City in 2016. After former Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema’s departure, Capps was asked to help out on the offensive line.
As a junior, he started 11 of 12 games, garnering 193 combined snaps at right guard and left guard.
“Moving Austin over last fall camp from O-line to D-line, you just don’t do that and it happens overnight,” Morris said. “It takes a while. Watching Austin get better through the season and through spring ball was good for him and this football team. He got a lot of reps at the left guard position. We anticipate him having a great summer. I think there are some really good people around him that’ll help continue to bring him along. He has to have a great summer.”
Capps has excelled in the classroom as well, as he was named to the 2016-17 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll, the 2017 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll and the 2018 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.
As for Blair, he will get a chance to see playing time this year whether it be as a defensive back or on a special teams unit. His love for the University of Arkansas is clear to see, and Morris has taken heed to it.
“He loves the Hogs,” Morris said. “That’s first and foremost, and it really stands out. He’s really become a great teammate. He’s developed into a guy that can help us out. He’ll help us in some special teams as he got a lot of really good quality reps this spring. I’ve been very pleased with him.”