The Cats put an emphasis on the defense getting to the ball. In every team drill the defense was prodded to get to the ball. On several occasions the defense had to do "up-downs" as punishment for being late to the ball.
"We have to run to the football," coach John Mackovic said. "That is something we are emphasizing. We want them to fly and get off the blocks and the ground and get to the ball."
The Cats had a scare when Clarence Farmer went down with a wrist injury. The sophomore running back iced the injury for a while, then taped a foam pad on it and got back into the action.
A number of players were held out of practice due to injury. Offensive linemen Matt Lamatsch and Daren Safranek participated in drills, but were held out of contact. Andrae Thurman is still nursing a hamstring injury and merely rehabbed. Reserve quarterback Jesse Gran is out of his boot, but is still limited.
Junior college punter James Molina has his paperwork in and worked both on special teams and as a quarterback. The Pueblo High grad showed some good arm strength and gives the Wildcats additional depth at the position.
Gary Love had a mixed day at corner back. The converted wide receiver made a couple of nice plays, but was also burned by Juan Valentine on a long pass play.
Valentine and Ricky Williams continue to play well. Both provide big targets, and a nice contrast from speedy, but small Bobby Wade. The trio all made a number of nice plays.
One spot that did not have a great day was cornerback. David Hinton and Luis Nunez both made a couple of key mistakes. Neither of the two leading candidates for the corner spot opposite of Michael Jolivette made much of an impact.
The Cats will return to practice on Tuesday, March 19th.
*New England Patriots linebacker Teddy Bruschi attended practice. He is in town for part of the off season.
*Several Wildcats tested for NFL scouts. Jermaine Chatman, Steven Grace and Eli Wnek were some of the only players to take part in every test. The turf at Arizona Stadium was not in the best shape and a few players slipped while participating in shuttle runs.
*The Wildcats now have six quarterbacks on the spring roster following the addition of Molina. Jason Johnson and Nic Costa are taking the bulk of the snaps.
*Coach Mackovic will join Cardinals coach Dave MacGinnis and ASU's Dirk Koetter as speakers at a coaches clinic in Phoenix.
*Redshirt Freshman fullback Sean Jones has moved ahead of Antoine Singfield in his attempt to win the fullback spot.