The Fatigue Takes Hold

UA head coach Houston Nutt sees some of the youngsters on his team fighting through fatigue during Wednesday morning's practice while defensive coordinator Dave Wommack sizes up the newcomers who might contribute heavily this season on his side of the ball.

Some players are getting tired, some are stepping up and the defense is taking charge.

Those were some of the headlines from Wednesday morning as the University of Arkansas football team got in the first of two workouts on the day.

"A lot of them didn't like football today, at 8:45 they didn't like it too much at all," Razorback head coach Houston Nutt said following a two-hour workout. "But once we got going we got something out of them."

The fatigued is most noticeable in the young ones according to Nutt.

"That's two-a-days you know," Nutt said. "You get to a point where the freshmen really have long faces now, they are in the playbook deep, they are missing mom. But the older guys are trying to pick them up and we got some things done there toward the end."

The defense took it to the offense during the live portion of the workout.

"We worked on the two-minute situation today, no huddle, trying to move the ball without a huddle," Nutt said. "It was a little bit different for a lot of them. With inexperience, it is a learning process. Sometimes you take that for granted the last couple of years just by having an experienced offensive lineman that know what to do when the play is being communicated at the line of scrimmage."

"The defense had a good morning this morning," Nutt continued. "Vickiel Vaughn intercepted a pass, John Jackson is really moving around and the same way with Johnny Johnson. Jeb Huckeba is giving us great leadership up front."

UA defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said he likes the way his defense is beginning to shape up, but is looking for more depth and consistency.

"What you are seeing is that some players are becoming more consistent, but not enough of them in my opinion right now for us to make it through the season," Wommack said. "I feel good about a lot of different people. We are starting to get the right people in the right places and that helps firm up what they are doing. They are reacting instead of thinking about what they've got to do. I'm seeing progress, but we still have a lot of work to do."

One thing that Wommack doesn't expect is for a lot of the defensive newcomers to have a redshirt slapped on them.

"We are going to need them this year," Wommack said. "I don't see many of that redshirting happening at all."

Wommack commented Wednesday morning on a few of the newcomers that are making headway.

Juco cornerback Darius Vinnett:

"Probably the one guy that stands out to me right now that has been the most consistent of the newcomers is been Darius Vinnett. He has done a really good job."

Freshman defensive end Marcus Harrison:

"Marcus Harrison is starting to make a move at defensive end and we are trying to hold him in that spot instead of moving him around."

Freshman defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe:

"Fred Bledsoe is a hard young man to block. His attitude has been super. He wants to start playing. I love his long arms, the size of his body and his strength and his speed. He is an SEC defensive lineman."

Freshman defensive end Jamaal Anderson:

"Jamaal Anderson is not ready to take on anybody in the running game right now. But we certainly feel like we can use his speed in a passing situation. His role to me at this point is going to be more of a pass rusher."

Redshirt freshman cornerback Chris Houston:

"A guy I was really kind of concerned on whether he was going to help us that has come back and done a super job and is playing full speed right now is Chris Houston. Chris was here before, but he kind of fits in that category of no experience."

Freshmen cornerbacks Matterral Richardson and Michael Grant:

"We are starting to see a little bit more consistency out of (cornerback) Matterral Richardson, a little bit more out of (cornerback) Michael Grant and those guys. But before you really feel comfortable before putting them in a game they have a ways to go."

Freshman linebackers Weston Dacus and Zach Snider:

"They are sniffing, but it's hard when we have three guys that are working in there," Wommack said. "You never say never, but those guys right now are going to see action in the kicking game and not as many reps at linebacker to get them ready."

o o o

Practice tidbits:

...Junior college transfer Randy Kelley, who gained his eligibility on Tuesday, had not hit the field as of Wednesday morning.

...Redshirt freshman quarterback Landon Leach, who left Tuesday's practice with a stomach problem, was not at the morning practice, but Nutt hoped he would be at the afternoon one.

""He is still not feeling very well," Nutt said. "Hopefully he will be back by this afternoon."

...Junior running back De'Arrius Howard took a blow to the knee late in the practice that look troubling, but got back up after a brief time and continued practicing.


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