Day two practice report

The second day of Arizona fall camp went a lot smoother than the first day. Under clear skies the Wildcats went out and had an uninterrupted practice, including a brief no contact scrimmage. It is still early but things are starting to develop for this team.


Two quarterbacks got the majority of the reps. Kris Heavner took just about 60% of the snap in 11-on-11 scrimmages. Ryan O'Hara took about 35% of the snaps.

"These two will get the majority of the reps," Mike Stoops said. "We just don't have time to let four quarterbacks get the same amount of work."

Freshman Daniel Espinosa has been moved from center to defensive tackle. The 6-0, 275 pounder has a build that is better suited for nose guard and that is where the Wildcats will most likely use him.

Dramayne McElroy was cleared to play and was on the field. He just needed some final clearance on his transcripts. He instantly becomes the fastest player on the team and will challenge for a starting corner back spot.

Nic Costa was back on the team after missing practice to tend to what was described as a family issue. Costa worked out with the quarterbacks but took no snaps in 7-on-7 drills or 11-on-11 scrimmages. He is expected to battle for a quarterback spot, but is also going to get work at various offensive positions in an effort to get the talented athlete on the field.

The Cats did punt drills. Ryan Eidson and Syndric Steptoe handled most of the return duties, with Wilrey Fontenot taking a few reps.

Brad Wood got a lot of time with the first and second offense and could see time at either tight end or H-Back.


Practice started on time. Players were on the field fairly early and were going through team work before beginning their stretching.

Soon they moved onto various drills by position. For the most part these were the same drills we saw in the spring, only they were run even faster and more efficient. I guess that the coaches feel that they don't need to reinvent the wheel every practice.

As with the spring, things ran very smoothly and very quickly. There is very little wasted time or effort.

While the teams are working on 1-on-1 and blocking drills, the kickers are working with strength coach Corey Edmunds. In the past the kickers either kept to themselves, worked out with the linebackers or snapped balls to the quarterbacks. Now they do leg stretches, leg lifts and drills with a giant rubber band that provides plenty of resistance. Joining the four kickers are the two long snappers on the roster.

During 1-on-1's the offense always has the advantage, but the defense did a great job on long ball. The cornerbacks did a great job bumping the receivers at the line and that threw them off of their timing.

Finally the team went to 7-on-7 drills. There was a bit of a change in how the team did the drill. Instead of one quarterback getting several plays in a row, the team alternated between two passers. Each QB would get a play, then the next one would step right in with his own set of receivers. This really sped things up and allowed more players to get work in.

Without a pass rush the offense always has the advantage in 7-on-7 "skellies". Kris Heavner was 8-9 for approximately 47 yards. Ryan O'Hara was 7-8 for about 46 yards. Richard Kovalcheck completed his lone pass for seven yards.

In the drill 12 different players made grabs. Juan Valentine and Chris Henry each caught two O'Hara passes, while Michael Jefferson caught two of Heavner's tosses.

Practice closed with an 11-on-11 scrimmage. These are tough to gauge because there is little contact. Stats are an approximation of where the ball carrier was first touched by a defender. Heavner got the first 14 snaps, but only attempted five passes. He was ‘sacked' on his first attempt and had a ball dropped by Jefferson on his second attempt. The best play of the series came when he threw deep to Ricky Williams down the left sideline and hit the senior receiver for a 35-yard scoring strike.

All told Heavner was 5-8 for 77 yards.

O'Hara was 3-5 for 20 yards and also scrambled for a five-yard gain. Both he and Heavner fumbled a snap.

Kovalcheck saw limited action. He attempted just two passes. One was a five-yard completion to Fleming, while the second was dropped by Steptoe.

There was a lot of contact and physicality considering none of the players were in pads.


*ESPN was on hand filming a segment for SportsCenter. Stoops was mic'd during the practice. The first microphone did not work and the camera crew was scrambling to get another mic on him without interfering with practice.

*Gilbert Harris lost a fumble, but you could hardly blame him. The runner had some daylight when he was caught by a clothesline from a defensive lineman that nearly took him out of his cleats.

*For the second night in a row Stoops praised a number of freshmen. He had good things to say about all four young defensive backs, which he did the night before. He also praised the new offensive linemen and receiver Bobby McCoy.

*Lamon Means has switched his number from 19 to 20.

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