Jones Puts on Passing Show

Arkansas had some good news on the eligibility front as Matt Jones put on a passing show in Tuesday's lone workout.

Arkansas worked for a little over two hours Tuesday in full pads as the second week of fall practices hit the middle of the week.

Head coach Houston Nutt thought the defense had a good day as temperatures rose into the mid 80s for the first time of the fall.

"It got a little warmer today," Nutt said. "It was actually nice, but it was quite a bit warmer than it has been. We needed it. We need it to try to get a little more out of them in tougher conditions."

The Hogs got some good news on the eligibility front. Coffeyveille, Kan., Community College safety Randy Kelly was stamped eligible by the NCAA. Nutt said he was en route to Fayetteville Tuesday night. It was unclear whether or not he could complete a physical in time to practice Wednesday.

"But he's eligible and on his way," Nutt said. "He's cleared. He has a lot of catchup work and I don't know (how much he can help by the opener). But he's eligible. It will be a few days before he's in full pads. He has to go through the same stages that everyone else had at the start ... no pads the first day, then helmets, then the rest after three days."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson shook things up after his unit was less than stellar in Monday's two workouts. Nate Garner replaced Zac Tubbs with the first unit at right tackle, Stephen Parker took Gene Perry's position with the first group at right tackle and Matt Gilbow moved ahead of Tony Ugoh at left tackle.

"If you aren't getting it done, we are going to move someone ahead of you," Markuson said. "I didn't think Zac practiced well Monday and Nate deserved a chance to see what he could do there. Same thing with Stephen and Matt. They are working hard. Let's see what they can do with the first group and let those other three sit and watch. Maybe it sends a message.

"It's not like our first group has a bunch of starts and can take it easy. If they aren't working, we'll get them out of there. It's funny. Zac, Gene and Tony ... they had better days today, a lot better. But I thought Nate, Stephen and Matt did well, too. I'll have to look at film before saying how we'll line up Wednesday.

"It's good to do that. It's good to send a message that everyone is expendable. You want to see if the second guy is ready. Might happen like that in a game. You get your number called and you have to be ready."

Matt Jones, as he has been most days, was the star of Tuesday's workout. He missed few passes in a superb display in both one-on-one drills, seven-on-seven pass skeleton and the 11-on-11 session to complete the day.

Jones hooked up with freshman wideout Marcus Monk for a series of big plays, including a bomb in the 11-on-11 session that was made possible by Monk's shield work against a smaller defensive back.

"Monk looks like he's 6-7 or better out there," Nutt said. "He just towers over some guys that are maybe 6-2. He just keeps making plays. He has great presence and great hands and his body is amazing."

Another newcomer who looked sharp was junior college transfer Darius Vinnett, a 5-9 cornerback who continues to sparkle in one-on-one coverage situations. Vinnett is pushing for a starting spot at right cornerback.

"He can really cover," Bobby Allen said. "He's getting better and better. I thought he had a good day. He's been a nice surprise as far as how fast he's picked things up. He's proven to me he can play at this level."

There were no serious injuries, although Marcus Harrison left practice twice and both Cedric Logan and Landon Leach had to go in early for minor ailments.

"I don't think any of those were serious," Nutt said. "They'll be okay."

The Hogs will practice twice on Wednesday. NCAA rules prevent back-to-back two-a-day workouts.


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