Arkansas endured the heat on Thursday afternoon in what was its 11th day of preseason practice as the Razorbacks worked out in full pads behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Overall, Coach Nutt was pleased with his team’s efforts and their persevering attitudes and was quick to point out the progress of the true freshmen.
“We had a good practice again today and it was very hot,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “I really feel for the most part our guys bounced around and did some good things. When you hit this time of practice during two-a-days you’re looking for mental toughness, the attitude to push through. I see more guys trying to fight through a little soreness and trying to grow up a little bit. I know the freshmen have probably come the furthest, because they didn’t know what to expect, so I appreciate their attitude. We have to continue to get better and we still have a way to go.”
The Hogs had planned to work out for two full hours, but the coaching staff cut practice 15 minutes short to help keep the players healthy and ready to go for their final two-a-day on Friday.
“We’re pretty thin right now when you’ve got some many people on the sidelines and we’re trying to get them back on the field,” Nutt said. “We kind of limited our plays today and got everybody some good quality work, so they can come back out here tomorrow and not be in the training room.”
Sophomore starting quarterback Robert Johnson continued to observe practice in shorts and shells as he is temporarily sidelined with a pulled groin. Redshirt freshman Alex Mortensen has picked up the extra snaps and has used this opportunity to improve his game.
“It’s very helpful and he’s (Mortensen) done an excellent job,” Nutt said. “I’m really proud of him with the decisions he’s making right now. He did a great job with the two-minute drills today. This is the kind of experience he needs.”
Johnson will wait and see how he feels after tomorrow to determine how much time he will play in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“Dean thought he (Johnson) could go today, but wanted to hold him for another day or two,” Nutt said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. He’s anxious and wants to get back out here. It’s just a bad groin pull and you want to make sure the next time he comes out here he has the endurance to practice and to not go back into the training room. That’s just a precaution. He’s still our No. 1 guy.”
On Friday the Razorbacks will once again return to two-a-days. After meetings at 9 a.m., the morning session will begin at 10 a.m. and go for about two hours in the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion. The time of the outside afternoon practice is slated for 5:30 p.m.
Arkansas’ annual Fan Day is set for Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon with the festivities being held on the lawn in front of the Tyson Poultry Science Building. A scrimmage will follow at 6 p.m. in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Gates 1, 6 and 10 will be used to access the west side of the stadium one hour before the scrimmage begins.