Big hits and rookies showcased on Monday

A couple of things stood out in Monday night's practice. First off the hitting is getting harder and harder. The second thing was the extra snaps taken by the younger Wildcats. Coach John Mackovic made it a point of getting many of the younger Arizona players extra snaps Monday night.

"We have a number of good guys who haven't been able to show what they can do because they need more reps," Mackovic said.

The rookies had their own 11-on-11 scrimmage. Nic Costa fared very well against the defense. Costa went 3-4 for 15 yards against only a handful of scholarship players.

"Nic Costa hasn't shown what he is able to do because he hasn't gotten the reps," said Mackovic.

Mike Bell played well. The true freshman running back from Tolleson, Arizona gained 13 yards on four carries and showed great speed. Bell was rocked by one of the night's big hits. Former Sahuaro standout Tony Wingate slammed into Bell, garnering a round of "ooh's" from onlookers.

Mackovic indicated that he would continue to get the rookies extra reps in an attempt to analyze them in greater detail.

The Wildcat quarterbacks, primarily Jason Johnson continued to shine in 7-on-7 passing "skellies". Johnson was 7 of 10 for 111 yards. John Rattay went 6-9 for 54 yards as well.

Several receivers also played very well. Brandon Marshall and Andre Thurman each has three catches. Marshall gained 24 yards, while Thurman picked up 28 yards, the bulk coming on a 20-yard catch. Starting wideouts Bobby Wade and Malosi Leonard each had two catches. Wade picked up 38 yards, and Leonard had 30. Leonard also had a great diving catch but came down out of bounds.

During a later scrimmage Clay Hardt popped Tremaine Cox after a whistle. After the pushing and shoving the other night it appeared that things could get tense, but instead Cox slapped hands with Hardt and both players ran to their respective huddles.

Alex Luna wore a gold jersey and was held out of contact. Shelton Ross was also walking gingerly and was held out of practice.

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