Arkansas battled high temperatures on Wednesday afternoon and put together a solid practice in the eyes of the coaching staff. The Hogs worked out for a little over two hours in full pads as they continued to prepare for the 2005 campaign.
“We had a much better practice today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “It was very, very hot, but the guys pulled through it, both offensively and defensively.”
Sophomore cornerback Michael Grant provided the highlight of the day when he snagged an interception during the two-minute drill, despite playing with a broken finger.
“Michael Grant had an interception during the two-minute drill that was outstanding,” Nutt said. “His finger is probably not 100 percent, but he’s learning to play with it. He’s jamming and doing all the techniques, so we don’t see any signs that he is letting it bother him. That shows you a little bit of maturity right there.”
Sophomore quarterback Robert Johnson continues to improve as he comes back from a pulled groin and is almost at full speed.
“Robert Johnson did a good job of leading us to get a field goal in the two-minute drill,” Nutt said. “It’s been a slow improvement, but today he went through every snap and it didn’t slow him down that much. He can’t run full speed right now, but he’s almost there. He’s getting the ball to the tailback and he can sprint out, so he’s doing some good things.”
UA was missing its two top tight ends, Jared Hicks and Wes Murphy, from practice due to injuries. Fortunately, depth at the position has allowed Nutt to fill the hole.
“We didn’t have Jared Hicks today and he’s probably going to be out a couple weeks,” Nutt said. “Marcus Winston, Mason Templeton and Lance Thompson have taken up the slack for (Wes) Murphy and Hicks.”
Arkansas will practice the rest of the week and have a walk-through on Saturday. UA’s home opener is against Missouri State University on Sept. 3, in Fayetteville, with a kickoff time scheduled for 6 p.m.