Monday Grid Report, 8/18

Arkansas encountered some academic problems Monday, and one of the players involved is a key starter. The Hogs worked twice on Monday.

Both Cedric Cobbs and Brandon Holmes missed practice Monday afternoon to work on summer courses that are incomplete.

So are they eligible now?

"If they don't get it done, they wouldn't (be eligible)," Houston Nutt said.

Nutt said the academic support staff asked that both players be excused from practice to concentrate on school work until they are done with their summer school classes.

"They have incompletes and they have to get their work done," Nutt said. "I trust our academic staff. If Paul Kirkpatrick and his people tell me he needs them, then I know it has to be done." Defensive tackle Arrion Dixon sustained a sprained medial collateral knee ligament in drills Monday morning and sat out the afternoon workout. Houston Nutt hopes that Dixon returns in two to three days.

"We don't think it's a situation where he'll miss a lot of time, but right now you just don't know," Nutt said. "He's going to be out a few days for sure."

Chris Baker tried to go in the morning workout held in Walker Pavilion, but felt a "twinge" in his sore hamstring and was pulled from the field. He didn't practice Monday afternoon when the Hogs donned full pads. They were in shorts and shoulder pads in the morning.

Also missing the afternoon practice were Carlos Ousley (hamstring), Chase Pressley (hamstring), Mark Pierce (shoulder) and James Johnson (dehydration). Jason Peters went to the training room midway through the afternoon workout with dehydration problems.

Nutt said the Hogs had a solid day on the field. He praised defenders Justin Scott, Elliott Harris, Jeb Huckeba, Clarke Moore, Marvin Jackson and Caleb Miller for solid preseasons.

"We've had a lot of guys do well," he said. "Offensively, we are further ahead than you'd expect at this point in preseason and that's primarily do to that experience in the offensive line. They have played before and they've seen the blitzes and the twists and the stunts. They know how to pick them up. That's what we've seen this preseason.

Nutt was pleased with both Matt Jones and Ryan Sorahan in Monday's afternoon drills.

"The(quarterbacks) threw the ball well today," he said. "They made some good reads on the coverage's our defense threw at them. They did some really good things, especially in the nine-on-nine and red zone drills."

Jacob Skinner had a solid day punting the ball as the Hogs continue to work the Texarakana freshman with veteran Brennan O'Donohoe at the punter spot. Those two match punts to start each workout. So far, Skinner has the stronger leg.

"He was a little slow getting them off when we first started last week, but he's getting quicker and quicker," Nutt said.

Asked who would punt in a game, Nutt said, "We haven't made that decision. We are going to work them both and see how it goes. You don't have to make that call just yet."

DeCori Birmingham and Marvin Jackson are fighting for the punt return job, and each handles quite a few punts to begin each workout.

Houston Nutt observes practice Monday afternoon.

Matt Jones warms up Monday.

Desmond Sims is pushing for playing time at wolf linebacker.

Shawn Andrews was ready to go at Monday's workout.

Vickiel Vaughn flies for a football during a secondary drill.

Photos by Clay Henry

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