FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After spending the first three days of preseason workouts in shorts and helmets, the Razorback football team dressed out in shoulder pads for the first time during Tuesday evening’s practice.
As the players adjusted to their first workout in shoulder pads, the intensity of practice increased as well. Head coach Houston Nutt said the players will have to get used to the extra weight of wearing the new equipment. The Hogs are scheduled to practice in full pads on Thursday.
Nutt was complementary of the defense and the way the unit continues to get better and strive toward the goals set by defensive coordinator Reggie Herring and the rest of his staff.
“There are times when you see glimpses of their speed and getting to the ball with a sense of urgency,” said Nutt, who also thought the defense did a good job playing with intensity.
The end of practice saw the team work on two-minute drills. Nutt was pleased with some of the execution during the end-of-game situations, starting with the work of offensive linemen Jonathan Luigs, Robert Felton and Nate Garner. “They have been here before with a lot of experience, so we just have to keep bringing guys in there,” said Nutt who also likes the effort being put in by juniors Mitch Petrus and Jose Valdez.
Peyton Hillis kept up his strong camp with another good practice session and continues to show his importance for Arkansas.
“(Hillis) is not afraid to go over the middle and (defenders) bounce off of him,” Nutt said of the senior fullback. “He’s valuable, so we have to keep him on the field.
Freshman D.J. Williams is working hard to create opportunities to make an impact for the team this year. Nutt said Williams could be used at a number of positions including tight end, fullback and as a member of the special teams unit.
“There is no telling what his role could evolve into, but he’s a special athlete,” Nutt said.
While addressing the media after practice, Nutt said sophomore Colin Tucker had decided to leave the team prior to Tuesday’s workout.
Arkansas will return to the practice fields Wednesday evening with specialty work beginning at 6 p.m. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more details about Razorback football.