Hogs Enjoy Practice Under Picture Perfect Cond
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Pleasant temperatures and a good cloud cover allowed Arkansas to practice for a little more than three hours on Thursday in shoulder pads and helmets. Razorback head coach Houston Nutt was satisfied with the Hogs’ continuous improvement and has seen the leadership of a solid and experienced defensive line being displayed in workouts.
“The weather has been like paradise,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We had an unbelievable cloud and it was cool and nice. We were moving around and we got better today. That’s what you want to do every time you come out. I love the enthusiasm of our guys.
“Our defensive line is really trying to lead and they’re the oldest group we have,” Nutt said. “Arrion Dixon, Elliot Harris, Jeb Huckeba, Titus Peebles and Marcus Whitmore. The few seniors we do have are really trying to step out. Offensively, the same thing with Matt Jones and Steven Harris, they are doing a great job on that side of the ball. We’ve just got to keep going and keep pushing and get better every day.”
After suffering a slight stinger at the end of Wednesday’s practice sophomore split end Chris Baker was back on the field. Unfortunately, freshman defensive end Fred Bledsoe was forced to leave practice early when he hurt his knee in the first 10 minutes of workouts.
“There’s the confidence of a year of being here and a year of being in the weight room,” Nutt said. “There are a couple other guys that were on the sidelines today. I think Chris Baker was hurt a little worse than a couple of them yesterday. You’ve got to stay on the field. Fred Bledsoe hurt his knee early in the first or second period and will have to get a MRI. I don’t know how serious it is. Hopefully it’s not too serious and we can get him back out here. He was having a good camp.”
With the absence of Jason Peters Nutt discussed the continued importance of having a strong tight end in order to get the ball down the field.
“We’re going to depend on him (Jared Hicks) to block for us and catch the ball,” Nutt said. “We’ve also got Payne Hall and Mason Templeton and Marcus Winston. We’re going to need two or three tight ends to play and do what we really want to do. We use two tight ends in a lot of our sets.”
Nutt was also very pleased with how the secondary was performing with the addition of numerous freshmen such as Rick Culbert, Michael Grant, Shedrick Johnson, Matterral Richardson, Darius Vinnett and Dallas Washington.
“I’m really excited about all of them, Vickiel Vaughn, Michael Coe, Chris Houston, Lerinezo Robinson are our older guys and you can tell they’ve been here for a year,” Nutt said. “Our freshman, I’m so glad they’re on our football team. They have a lot to learn, but they’re so enthusiastic and they have such athleticism and they’re very quick.”
On Friday the Razorbacks will practice in full pads for the first time. They will also practice earlier in the day in order to prepare for UA’s first two-a-day on Saturday. Friday’s workout is tentatively scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
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