FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas football returned to the practice fields after a brief hiatus during the University’s spring break. Players participated in drills and maneuvers for two hours in full pads on the practice fields just south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“It’s good to get back on the field but you can tell we still have a lot of spring break left in us,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “We had two good practices before we left. We have to get the spring break out of us and get back in that groove. We ended with a 10-play scrimmage. We went through a lot of fundamentals today. We had a lot of good work but we have a long way to go. We have a lot of improvement to make.”
Many faces who weren’t as familiar during the 2006 season have stepped to replace missing seniors.
“It’s still early but Fred Bledsoe had a very good first day,” Nutt said. “I have to find out what happened with (Marcus) Shavers. I noticed he went off early. We’ll see what happened there. Hopefully, he’s not injured again. I think he’s going to be okay. He just kind of came down wrong. Fred Bledsoe, Malcolm Sheppard, Chris Wade, Wendel Davis, Chip Gregory, it was good to see him out here. There were a lot of good names but I’m going to wait a few days.”
Ben Cleveland also returned to practice after missing the first two practices because of a nagging foot injury.
“I was happy to see Ben (Cleveland) out here today,” Nutt said. “I feel hopeful that we can keep him on the field. He needs these next 12 practices. I think the key thing for him, we know he can play; we just have to make sure he is healthy and staying on the field.”
Nathan Emert started spring practice as the No. 2 quarterback on the Hogs’ depth chart and maintains that spot after today’s third practice.
“I’m glad we have him on our football team right now,” Nutt said. “He’s getting almost half of all the reps especially in fundamentals and individual drills. He’s very smart. He is a quality person with great character. He’s not afraid, that’s what I love. I love how tough he is. He understands the offense. He just has to execute and he’ll get better with time.”
Nutt publicly addressed Antwain Robinson’s status with the team for the first time after Robinson violated team policy during spring break.
“Antwain Robinson, I was very shocked and disappointed,” Nutt said. “He is going to be punished severely inside this program. He’s going to go through Rodger Hunter (UA’s Student Life Coordinator) for community service. We are going to make sure that he hopefully never makes that decision again. Every day he is going to be punished and we’ll see how things take.”