There was a buzz at Arkansas' practice Sunday afternoon when starting quarterback Zak Clark left pass skeleton drills early, and headed to the training table with 45 minutes still remaining.
Clark spent the next 20 minutes with his right elbow emerged in ice, and an ice pack on his right shoulder. He did return to watch the end of team work to end the day.
"There's nothing to that," said David Lee, the QB coach. "I took him out to let the young ones get a little extra work. Zak was really sharp all day, and it was time to get him out of there and see what the young ones can do.
"I love what Zak has been doing. He's thrown a lot the last four days and we don't want to wear his arm out."
Houston Nutt added, "Zak's arm tends to get sore sometimes and it may be a little sore now, and we just wanted to get him some rest. He's okay.
"It let us look at Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Jones a little more. I'll tell you what; we've got two good ones in Tarvaris and Matt. They are going to be good ones. They were good today."
The Hogs installed a lot of the option package in the early part of the workout, including the mid-line option. Lee used a 2x4 to give the fullbacks an idea of where they should hit the hole for the first read.
"Hey, we had some fun today," Lee said. "This is a blast for me. It's time to get down to the coaching. This is what I look forward to all year, coaching these players.
"I thought Matt Jones did well, but he should. This isn't new to him. He's had all of this before and the carryover was real good for him."
The early part of practice included some intense hitting between the defensive and offensive linemen. A one-on-one drill under a metal cage was overflowing with intensity from both the players and coaches, line tutors Mike Markuson and Bobby Allen.
The highlight of the drill came when Markuson and Allen pitted Shawn Andrews and Jason Peters in three straight hitting contests. Peters got the best of Andrews in the first match, but Andrews got better in the next two rounds and perhaps one the final match, ending up on top of Peters.
Carlos Hall bested Shannon Money in another matchup, although Money did well against some other defensive linemen.
The intensity stayed high for the middle drill, a full-speed drill that features full lines, but no defensive backs or wide receivers. That drill ended in a blowup hit by Jermaine Brooks when he broke through the line to deck back Kyle Dickerson on an off-tackle play.
The Hogs wrapped up the workout with three sets of gassers with Houston Nutt doing the honors.
"Our guys did well today," Nutt said. "It looks like we are in pretty good shape. It looked like everyone was making their times in the gasser except maybe three. That's pretty good."
Cedric Cobbs answered any questions about his condition by leading the backs and wide receivers in the final set of gassers, sprinting the last 55 yards to pull away from everyone else. His competition at tailback, Brandon Holmes, also looked strong in the gassers, but didn't quite stay with Cobbs on that final sprint while beating everyone else.
There did not appear to be any new injuries, but several Hogs were unable to work on Sunday. Lawrence Richardson, who took a helmet to the thigh on Saturday, spent the day jogging with Harold Harris and Jimarr Gallon, two defensive backs who also are sitting out with minor injuries. Center Josh Melton didn't practice after going down to dehydration Saturday. J. Strain and James Johnson did not practice. Both have sore knees. Fred Talley did not work for the second straight day because of swelling in his knee. Caleb Caesar also did not practice because of soreness from an old ACL injury.
Robby Hampton did not practice. He has been unable to throw any passes in the Hogs' first five full-team workouts.
The Hogs are still practicing in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets, but that has not stopped the hitting. All drills Sunday were full speed, although there has been no tackling to the ground.
Kenny Sandlin (above, red jersey) prepares to strike a blow.
David Lee (above) straightens a board in a drill to install the option.
Chris Vaughn (above) instructs in a rushing drill for the outside linebackers.
Houston Nutt (above) takes questions after practice Sunday afternoon.
Shawn Andrews (above, red jersey) powers against Jermaine Brooks.
Shawn Andrews (73) battles Jason Peters.
Shawn Andrews (73) battles Jason Peters.
Houston Nutt prepares to put the Hogs through gassers to end Sunday's workout.
Photos by Clay Henry