FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 2007 Arkansas football team opened fall practice on a blazing-hot Saturday afternoon on the grass practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Dressed in shorts and helmets the entire 105-man roster practiced for just over two hours. The newcomers got things started a little earlier as they enjoyed their first taste of Razorback football without the presence of the veterans.
“That was fun today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said shortly after he ended the first drills of the season. “That was a fun couple of hours. We had some great listeners out there and a great group of seniors that came out to practice with a tremendous attitude.”
An estimated crowd of 500 fans turned out to get the first look at the 2007 Hogs despite the high humidity and temperatures in the 90s.
“I was very proud of the fans that withstood the heat today,” Nutt said. “It was funny because we kept telling them (the players) two or three weeks ago that is was going to get hot and it got hot, especially on this turf.”
The first practice of the year was very productive for the Razorbacks as they look to the season opener against Troy on Sept. 1 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“We had great enthusiasm today (from the players), and we had some great teaching periods,” Nutt said. “Are we there? By no means, but what a great start and a great first practice.”
The Hogs touched on the Wildcat package during Saturday’s drills with great results as Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis were hitting on cylinders.
Junior signal-caller Casey Dick comes into fall camp as the No. 1 quarterback and turned in a solid first day after back injuries plagued his 2006 fall camp.
“Casey started out the day pretty good, but there were some passes that he will tell you he can do better with,” Nutt said. “He is so far ahead of where he was at this time last year. Because No. 1 he is out here on the field. He is smarter, and he is only going to get better. I think he is way ahead of schedule.”
The freshman also made good impression on Saturday as they showed their athleticism and strength throughout practice.
“Our freshman lineman really stood out today, on both sides of the ball,” Nutt said.
The Hogs return to the practice field on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in shorts and helmets.