Arkansas Starts Spring Football with Closed Pr
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas opened spring football on Monday afternoon with a closed practice behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as the Hogs worked out in shorts and helmets for a little over two hours. Head coach Houston Nutt and his staff stressed fundamentals to the team and saw good focus from the squad.
“There’s nothing like spring practice where you don’t have a Saturday starring you in the face and you’re worried about a game plan or someone else’s offense or defense,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “You just come out and get better. We got a lot done today and we hit fundamentals. They had a lot of enthusiasm. The key is if they can be that enthusiastic tomorrow, because we went fairly long today.”
Nutt could already see an improved offensive line after the young group gained valuable experience in 2004. The defensive unit has changed its scheme this year with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Reggie Herring and the Razorbacks are still adjusting to their new positions.
“You can tell the maturity of the offensive line, because they’ve had a year under their belts,” Nutt said. “There were not as many missed assignments. Defensively, there was a lot of movement, but it’s a learning process because it’s a different defense and there’s different terminology. The effort and attitude was there.”
With the departure of Matt Jones a new quarterback will have to take over the reigns of the UA offense. Three young hopefuls, including Robert Johnson, Alex Mortensen and Cole Barthel are vying for the position and Nutt was very pleased with their effort and how they handled the huddle.
“They’re trying awfully hard and trying to complete every pass, but overthrew a lot of balls and missed a lot of passes early,” Nutt said. “As the practice went on they got better and better. They’re very anxious and trying hard. We have a ways to go, but I loved the tempo in the huddle.”
Sophomore Marcus Monk stood out among the receivers and made some impressive catches.
“Marcus Monk had a very good day today and caught two or three balls,” Nutt said. “He went up against the defenders with his height and made some catches. His shoulder is not 100 percent, but it’s close.”
The Razorbacks will practice again on Tuesday in shorts and helmets at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday will be an off day and practices will remain open for only the first 15 minutes before they are closed.
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