Petrino hopes former boss can help special teams

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - John L. Smith is in an unusual situation. He now works for 1 of his former assistants.

The former Michigan State coach was hired this offseason as the special teams coach at Arkansas under Bobby Petrino. Petrino was an assistant to Smith at Idaho, Utah State and Louisville.

Their mutual respect is obvious, and if there's any awkwardness after this role reversal, it doesn't show.

Smith inherits a group with plenty of potential. Arkansas' Dennis Johnson returned one kickoff for a touchdown as a freshman last year, and Alex Tejada has enough leg strength to be 1 of the Southeastern Conference's top kickers.

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