Tuesday Practice Report

Here's an update on the second day of Arkansas' newcomers football practices Tuesday in Fayetteville. This story will be updated again after the afternoon practice.

Arkansas' newcomers practiced for about 90 minutes Tuesday morning before ending practice a little early to head to the weight room for a session with Don Decker.

There were no new injuries. However, linebacker Michael Robinson did not practice after finishing Monday's afternoon workout with a noticable limp. The injury was diagnosed as an aggravation of an old fracture in his leg. He watched Tuesday's workout.

Quarterback coach David Lee raved about the prospects of all three of his newcomers after the Tuesday morning workout.

"Ryan Sorahan was perfect on our two written tests so far, and he's obviously ahead in his knowledge and grasp of what defenses are doing," Lee said. "But the other two have done some great things in practice.

"Tarvaris Jackson threw a post in this morning's workout that was a 35-yard rope that hit our receiver in the hands in perfect stride," Lee said. "It was as impressive of a throw as you'll ever see. Tarvaris is gifted and has a great arm."

Lee said Matt Jones continues to progress at a solid rate.

"He is an impressive athlete and is going to be a great quarterback," Lee said. "But, things are coming at him really fast right now. He's picking it up, but they are all a little confused at all of the things we are giving them."

Lee said all have performed well in the pass skeleton drills to this point.

"What you need to see is how they do in a scrimmage, and that will come in a few days," Lee said. "I've had a lot of quarterbacks do well in skeleton and then not do so well when you put everyone out there and you scrimmage. We'll just have to wait and see."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson said his only candidate, Shawn Andrews, is doing well, picking things up at a good rate.

"There's just so much to learn and you have to wait to see if he can pick it all up," Markuson said. "He's a little heavy, at about 338 right now. We need to get rid of the baby fat and get him down to 325. He'd be better at that weight.

"But what you love is the way he can move his feet. He has the feet of a skill athlete. He's light on his feet and can really move. I'd like to hope we could get him ready to play this year, but it's too early to tell."

Outside linebacker coach Chris Vaughn raved about Jeb Huckeba and Pierre Brown. Huckeba is playing the sam linebacker, or strong side on the outside. Brown is playing the weakside or wolf linebacker.

"They both understand football and are picking things up fast," Vaughn said. "Of course, Jeb's grown up with football and his dad is a coach. It comes natural to him. Pierre came from a great program and knows the game, too. We are fortunate in that respect and it gives both a chance to help this year. They are great players."

The Hogs will practice again Tuesday afternoon with stretching set to begin around 3:30 p.m. The Hogs will be on the grass practice field.

Secondary coach Dave Wommack continues to rave about Marvin Jackson, Batman Carroll and the rest of his defensive backs. He said Jimarr Gallon and DeCori Birmingham had excellent workouts Tuesday morning.

"I thought they all improved from our first day this morning," Wommack said. "These guys have a lot of ability. They are fun to work with. They enjoy the game and seem to be picking things up. We did give them a lot in meetings, about three fourths of our defense. That makes it hard on them, but we think some of these guys will play and we want to move pretty quick with what we give them.

"Marvin Jackson continues to make plays. You can see his natural ability. Both Marvin and Batman can close on the ball. That's natural speed and quickness. I like DeCori's ability, too. And, Jimarr really had a good workout today. Jimarr is extremely smart and understands things well."


The Arkansas newcomers wapped up their fourth and final practice before the varsity players report on Wednesday for media day.

Houston Nutt protected their newly sprigged grass practice field after afternoon showes dampened the tender turf. The UA head coach took the team into Walker Pavilion for a brisk 90-minute workout.

There were several position changes in the afternoon workout, including DeCouri Birmingham's move from cornerback to wide receiver. Birmingham is a swift former tailback from Atlanta, Texas.

Tailback DeArrius Howard left the afternoon practice early because of mild stomach problems.

"He may not be in the best condition and he got a little sick this afternoon," Nutt said. "He went in early."

Nutt continued to rave about the way his three new quarterbacks have taken to a heavy dose of the offense in the four workouts.

"We are giving them a lot as far as formations, plays and motion, and so far they've done well," Nutt said. "I'm sure it will make their head swim a little, but I like what they've done.

"I feel good about all three of the quarterbacks ... Ryan Sorahan, Matt Jones and Tarvaris Jackson. They all are doing good things."

Jared Hicks and Kyle Roper both moved from tight end to the offensive line, donning numbers in the 70s as proof. Hicks is ticketed for tackle with Roper mentioned as a possible guard. Both worked at tight end on Monday when they each wore No. 86.

"We had thought about them as offensive linemen all along, but wanted to give them a look at tight end first," Nutt said. "They can help us most at offensive line."

The Hogs will not practice on Wednesday when media day begins at noon with lunch in the Broyles Center for news outlets covering the team. Freshman will be available only briefly so they can go through the UA's orientation for students.

There will be no conditioning run, per NCAA rules.


Batman Carroll (above) after practice Tuesday.

JT with defense

John Thompson (above) instructs the defense.

Pierre Brown

Pierre Brown (above) warms up Tuesday.


Dottie and Marvin

Bobby Sutton (Dottie on the Hawg Lounge) and Marvin Jackson pose after practice Tuesday.

Ryan Sorahan

Ryan Sorahan (10) after practice Tuesday. 

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