FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas opened spring practice on Wednesday with a two-hour, 15-minute workout in shorts and helmets in the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion.
“Overall, I’m pleased with our attitude, our quickness and movement,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “You can tell they really enjoyed being out here. This two hours went extremely fast. Our guys have been anxious. We had moved (the start of practice) back, but it’s good to see the intensity and the speed of this group, and I’m really proud of this first day.”
After one day, Nutt says the Razorbacks are ahead of schedule, thanks in part to Dave Wommack, who was already on staff, taking over as defensive coordinator for the departed John Thompson.
“We have a lot of continuity,” Nutt said. “The chemistry is unbelievable and we’re really further ahead on this first day because we didn’t have to add or change terminology or do different things. It’s been a fast-moving pace because of that.”
As for players who got off to a quick start, Nutt mentioned sophomore offensive tackle Shawn Andrews, sophomore defensive tackle Elliott Harris, junior offensive guard Jim Peters, sophomore receiver Decori Birmingham, junior guard Scott Davenport, senior center Josh Melton and sophomore receiver George Wilson.
“Shawn Andrews has lost a lot of weight,” Nutt said. “He’s a lot quicker and that’s going to help him if he will sustain that.
“Elliott Harris had a good off-season. Jim Peters, Scott Davenport, Josh Melton and George Wilson had a good first day.
“Decori Birmingham, who we moved to receiver (from tailback), is an outstanding athlete and has a lot of tools to work with. We can pitch it to him, run screens and delays, and still use him to stretch the field.”
The Razorbacks practice again Thursday and Friday afternoon.