Clay Henry: KJ & Quinn pure gold in film room
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson recently sat down with Razorback legend Quinn Grovey to break down his biggest plays from the 2021 season. Hogs+ Senior Contributor Clay Henry reflects on the behind-the-scenes perspective it gives him and fans. Watch it on Hogs+.
The opening clip made me scoot to the edge of my seat. There was quarterback KJ Jefferson plowing over a Texas defender, one of many who did not want to tackle an Arkansas runner last Sept. 11.
Over the next hour-plus it was more pure entertainment—legendary quarterback Quinn Grovey, the color analyst on UA football radio broadcasts, visiting with Jefferson about the way he reads defense.
Jefferson will be the first returning quarterback for offensive coordinator Kendal Briles since he’s been calling plays for a Division I offense. That was mentioned and how those two meshed last year and throughout the spring.
There was a lengthy film session that not only went through some of the incredible highs of the 2021 season that put Arkansas back on the national college football map — Grovey’s words, not mine — with a 9-4 record that included a 24-10 victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.
Grovey sets the stage for the film study with an introduction: we are going to talk about the quarterback’s mindset as he walks to the line. And that’s exactly what I saw.
It was the kind of stuff I’ve heard through the years from the likes of Bill Montgomery, Joe Ferguson, Barry Lunney, Clint Stoerner, Matt Jones, Brandon Allen, Feleipe Franks and, of course, Grovey.
You get a glimpse of the kind of maturity that makes Jefferson one of the SEC’s premier quarterbacks ahead of his junior season. He’s able to read the offense designed by Briles in a split second. You watch the tape review with the pointer light on what he sees.
There is beautiful stuff, like the breakdown of Jefferson’s 85-yard TD pass to Treylon Burks in the Texas A&M victory. There are all those outstanding plays against Ole Miss. It’s all slowed down on video with Jefferson’s thoughts on the reads. Grovey highlights why all the reads were perfect.
There is a little Grovey-to-Derek Russell action from the second drive of the Cotton Bowl engineered by one of the all-time great UA quarterbacks. Grovey displayed how to read the option and the passing game, similar to what Jefferson is doing now.
There is some new stuff from Jefferson deep in the film session. The touchdown pass to Dominique Johnson that helped the Hogs rally past LSU in overtime. I didn’t know Jefferson didn’t see Johnson open on the wheel route on the Arkansas sideline. He had eluded the middle linebacker blitz and was trying to find Burks down the middle.
But in the scramble drill, one of the first things Briles wants is for the quarterback to move away from the pocket and head to the sideline. This time it was the UA sideline.
“I’ve never told this before,” Jefferson said, “but when I started to the sideline, everyone was pointing at Dominique. I saw him and my only thought, ‘Don’t miss him.’”
Grovey rewound that play to watch it happen as he saw the sideline help. It’s great stuff and is part of the successes of last season.
If you don’t love this stuff, you are wired differently than me. I slowed my computer to where I could watch it in slow motion. It’s just the kind of access to a quarterback’s mind that is golden.
I don’t have to pay for Hogs+ access because I’m a contributor, but I would. This is the kind of video and information that will help me do my job and understand why Jefferson is going to take the Hogs to great things.
There is fun stuff buried in all the golden information. The two quarterbacks detail their first Madden game, a victory by Jefferson. I’ll not spoil the way the game turned out and how the youngster celebrated beating whom everyone says is a Madden master. Rarely does Grovey lose.
It captures the spirit of the inner spirit of a great quarterback, one that cherishes winning as much as he hates losing. You will get that after watching these two discuss a video game. You don’t have to be a Madden junkie — and I’m not — to enjoy their banter over what might be the first of many battles in the video game.
You will enjoy the way Grovey described watching the end of the Texas game and his admission that he was only 1-3 against the Longhorns. He said Razorback greats were texting him during the game about how much they enjoyed the way their team took down the Longhorns.
It’s a fun insight into what makes Jefferson and Grovey tick. It will get you ready for another great Arkansas football season with the comfort that the Hogs have the right man under center.