FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team was back at work Friday evening in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, building further momentum after Thursday’s exciting start to fall practices. A milder afternoon in temperature was welcomed by the Razorbacks who donned helmets and jerseys for the newcomer and veteran practice sessions.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee was impressed by the squad’s preparedness for the start of fall practice.
"They have prepared themselves in the summer time," Coach McGee said. "They enjoy being around each other in the summertime. It’s important. You can see it. They have made a decision that they want to do well. We’ve got a lot of work to do. There is a lot that goes into being really good. They’ve made the decision to go after it."
The two practice sessions once again allowed for close observation by the UA coaching staff, led by third-year head coach Bobby Petrino. Coach McGee sees the setup as an advantage in building leadership skills among the newer members of the Arkansas football squad, especially in deeper position groups. UA’s offensive coordinator is impressed with the talent of the quarterbacks, headlined by preseason All-SEC first-teamer, Ryan Mallett.
"It is really giving us a chance to work with the young guys and have individual time with them," Coach McGee said. "Brandon (Mitchell) is pretty much the starting quarterback of a full practice. We expect him to be the leader of that crew. I think it has been really good for him."
While Coach McGee’s coaching is done on the offensive side of the ball, he noted the overall improvement of the UA group, as a whole.
"You can just tell they put in a lot of work this summer," Coach McGee said. "You can see it, and I’m talking about everyone on the team."
The early practice sessions of August are a chance to gain momentum heading towards to start of UA’s 2010 campaign. Coach McGee reminded the players to keep working.
"We have to set a standard on how we’re going to perform," Coach McGee said. "We have to become students of the game and be an expert of our position. I’m going to continue to push that there is a certain way we go about our business."
The Razorback football team will hold its annual media day tomorrow morning before hitting the practice field in two waves: veterans starting at 3 p.m., followed by newcomers beginning at 6:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend practices session through August 21 (excluding August 19). For more information regarding Arkansas football, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.