FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After a slight rain shower, the skies cleared and the Arkansas football team returned to the field for Thursday’s practice at the practice fields, just south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Practice, beginning at 6:50 p.m., went for about two hours as the Cardinal and White worked out for the first practice in full pads.
“We had a good practice tonight,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “The guys came out with good intensity at times. We have to go the entire practice that way but there are segments of practice that are very good and segments where we tend to feel sorry for ourselves. That’s the grind of two-a-days and that’s coming up on us tomorrow.”
The offense had another productive day from its signal-callers and its receiving corp. Quarterback Casey Dick was once again held out of drills because of injury but is expected to be back by Saturday. With Dick’s absence, Robert Johnson and Mitch Mustain took advantage of the chance to pick up extra reps and make them count.
“(Mitch Mustain) is getting better, he’s getting more comfortable with things, with the checks,” Nutt said. “He’s feeling more comfortable and getting the ball to Peyton (Hillis) and Marcus Monk and to his teammate Damian Williams. The way things are going, Mitch is getting some more snaps with Casey being out. Robert (Johnson) also looked very good today too. He made some good throws and some good checks.”
The receivers, newcomers and returners alike, put on another exciting display of athleticism as each continued to work their way towards earning a starting position.
“We have some receivers really trying to step up, compete and make some plays,” Nutt said. “Damian Williams had a good day. London Crawford, Rod Coleman, Chris Baker, these guys are coming on and making plays for us. This is what this camp is about. We are trying to see who is going to make the play we need.”
The injury bug is starting to work its way through the locker room as some of the younger guys did not participate in drills tonight. Their absence was a precaution to avoid further injury that could keep them out for an even longer period of time.
“We have Chip Gregory a little bit banged up today. It may be a slightly dislocated shoulder but I think he has done that before in high school so hopefully he won’t be off the field for too long. Ryan Powers has a slightly pulled hamstring and we are expecting him back participating in practice on Monday. We have to get those younger guys back in the mix.”
Michael Smith, who did not participate in practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of injury, is expected to be back participating in drills by Monday or Tuesday.
The Razorbacks will have their first day of two-a-day practice on Friday. Practice times are set for 10:30 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. on the practice fields. Practices will continue to be open to the public through Aug. 12, when the Razorbacks will scrimmage at 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Fans are also reminded of the Aug. 19 scrimmage that will be held at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.