Hogs Report for 2003 Season

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt welcomed his team for the start of football practice on Sunday. The Hogs will hit the field Monday afternoon for their first practice. Nutt had news on fullback Mark Pierce's availability, and discussed Shawn Andrews' weight. Also, we've provided a tentative practice schedule.

Arkansas football players Joseph Morton and John Jackson were late, but everyone else that was expected to report Sunday was on time and ready to go. Morton and Jackson were expected by dinner time Sunday and will be ready when the Hogs take the field for the first time Monday afternoon.

"Other than those two, everyone else we thought would be here is ready to go," said Houston Nutt, the Arkansas head coach.

"Joseph and John are on the way, but they had car troubles. We've talked to them and they'll be here soon."

Mark Pierce and Titus Peebles were also absent, but could join the team soon.

"Mark may be here in the next day or two," Nutt said. "I'm not sure when, but he's told us that he will be here soon. Titus has some paperwork to get done and then he'll be here. I think that could happen as soon as this week."

Pierce left summer workouts three weeks ago to deal with "emotional" problems. He went home to Weatherford, Texas where he met with professionals.

"I hope Mark is here sometime this week," Nutt said. "As far as what kind of condition he's in, we don't know. We won't press that. It could be that he hasn't (run) at all. That's fine."

Nutt said there is a "possibility" that Pierce will be with the team when it begins workouts on Monday afternoon.

"That's what someone has said ... it's a possibility," he said. "But, I don't know that for sure."

Nutt had not met with the team as a group when he met with the media, but he said he'd seen most of the players as they arrived for physicals and equipment checks.

"They look good," he said. "We've had a good summer."

Nutt said offensive tackle Shawn Andrews looked in fine shape.

"Since January, he's lost about 40 pounds," Nutt said. "He's done the work and looks good. Losing weight, as everyone knows, is a hard deal.

"Whats he weigh? I don't know. I haven't seen that, but I'm guessing in the 350 to 355 range. He was done to 346 just 10 days ago, but he had one last splurge with mom's cooking. I'm proud of him."

The Hogs will conduct meetings Monday morning, and then begin workouts at 2 p.m. with a practice for the newcomers. The varsity will take the field for its first workout at 3 p.m.

Nutt said freshman fullback Farrod Jackson will give it a try despite a sore knee.

"He wants to give it a shot, and we'll have to see if the knee swells or not and then make a decision," Nutt said.

Among the other freshman, Nutt wants to get a look at Willie Hordge, one of the fastest high school athletes in the nation last year, at both wide receiver and cornerback.

"There are a couple that we may want to look at more than one place, and Willie is one of them," Nutt said. "Anthony Gray will get a look at defensive end, but he may end up at outside linebacker."

Nutt said none of the newcomers are being counted on for immediate help, but it would be nice to find some depth for the defensive line.

"We tell them all to come in like you are going to get on the bus, but in reality, it's very difficult for a freshman to play," he said. "We need one (to help in the defensive line), but if they are not ready, they are not ready. The defensive line is where we'll look for someone early. We've got Jeremy Harrell, Keith Jackson and Titus Peebles there, but it's hard for a first-year player to do it. The pace, learning new terminology ... it's not easy.

"But, you never know. Someone like Willie Hordge, Landon Leach, Robert Johnson, Anthony Gray ... we have a lot of good athletes and some of those might fit in the two-deep or on special teams."

Nutt said it was clear to him after listening to players talk about the summer workouts that the Hogs were preparing hard.

"George Wilson tells me that we had excellent pass skeleton drills as far as attendance and for getting things done," Nutt said. "It's probablys the best we've ever had."

Nutt said Matt Jones would take the first snap at quarterback when the Hogs take the field Monday, but that he wouldn't throw for the entire workout.

"His shoulder is stronger, but we know enough about him not to throw him for two solid hours," Nutt said. "He'll take some snaps at wide receiver, too. We'll get him reps at both spots."

Free safety is a priority for the Hogs in the first week. Bobby Allen is looking for someone to take over for the departed Ken Hamlin.

"We'll try to get that decided as quick as we can, but we haven't said it's got to be by this date," Nutt said. "You'd like to do it this week, but it might not be until after the first scrimmage.

"We've got Tony Bua, Jimarr Gallon and Jimmy Beasley that we have that can play there, but in reality all three will be on the field somewhere if not free safety. Then, we also have Lorienzo Robinson and Vickiel Vaughn who can play there, too."

New NCAA rules prevent teams from conducting two-a-days until the sixth workout, so the Hogs will practice only once through Friday.

"That's tough because you do end up with a lot of dead time," Nutt said. "You can have only so much meeting time. You'd like to take them out there and do some walk throughs, but that's not allowed. So, you try to cover a lot of things in meetings and one of the things I'm going to stress to them tonight is that they must do a really great job of listening. Sometimes, they don't hear much after the first 30 minutes. That's about as long as the attention span goes."

Nutt was decked out in an adidas golf shirt, but it did not have any Razorback logos.

"I borrowed this from Mike Ketchum, our golf coach," Nutt said. "Our adidas coaching gear isn't here, and I wanted to have something with three stripes on when I met the team, something to show them.

"Our shoes are here. The ones I saw are black, although I understand there may be some red shoes, too ... perhaps for practice. We still haven't seen the uniforms and we are still without adidas coaching shoes. We'll be wearing some Nike stuff this week, I'm sure."

Here's the way the preseason is scheduled to go for the Hogs up until the start of classes:

2003 Preseason Schedule

All Practices and Times are tentative
(As of August 10, 2003)

Sunday, Aug. 10
9 a.m.-5 p.m. All Players Report
Noon-5 p.m. Equipment Fitting
(Newcomers Only)

Monday, Aug. 11 (1 practice)
2 p.m. Newcomers Practice
3 p.m. Full Squad Practice (shorts/helmets)

Tuesday, Aug. 12 (1 practice)
8 a.m. Media Day Registration
(Continental Breakfast)
8:30-9 a.m. Houston Nutt Press Conference
9-10:45 a.m. Player Interviews
2 p.m. Newcomers Practice
3 p.m. Full Squad Practice (shorts/helmets)

Wednesday, Aug. 13 (1 practice)
2 p.m. Newcomers Practice
3 p.m. Full Squad Practice
(shorts/shoulder pads)

Thursday, Aug. 14 (1 practice)
2 p.m. Newcomers Practice
3 p.m. Full Squad Practice
(shorts/shoulder pads)

Friday, Aug. 15 (1 practice)
2 p.m. Newcomers Practice
3 p.m. Full Squad Practice
(full pads)

Saturday, Aug. 16 (2 practices)
9:15 a.m. Full Squad Practice
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Sunday, Aug. 17
No Practice

Monday, Aug. 18 (2 practices)
9:15 a.m. Full Squad Practice
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Tuesday, Aug. 19 (1 practice)
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Wednesday, Aug. 20 (2 practices)
9:15 a.m. Full Squad Practice
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Thursday, Aug. 21 (1 practice)
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Friday, Aug. 22 (2 practices)
9:15 a.m. Full Squad Practice
3:45 p.m. Full Squad Practice

Saturday, Aug. 23
2:30-4:30 p.m. Fan Day
6 p.m. Fan Day Scrimmage
(Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium)

Sunday, Aug. 24
No Practice

Monday, Aug. 25
First Day of School

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