Arkansas worked for two hours in a padless practice Thursday outside on a slightly muddy practice field. Ryan Sorahan and DeCori Birmingham looked solid in the workout that was heavy on passing drills.
"Ryan Sorahan is ahead right now," Houston Nutt said. "You'd expect that. I'd say Tarvaris Jackson has the best arm, but Ryan looked sharp. Ryan was very accurate. Actually, all three looked good, but Ryan is ahead. I expect Matt Jones will close the gap. Ryan has improved and he has a lot of confidence right now."
Nutt said Birmingham continues to "make plays" at wide receiver. He made a one-handed catch in Thursday's practice that wowed everyone.
"DeCori is an eye turner," Nutt said. "You better find him. He can make plays and he is very, very good. He's so talented. I'm so excited about him at wide receiver. He made several, several plays today."
Nutt said the Hogs would "put the ball down" beginning Friday when they don full pads for scrimmages.
"The rest of the way, we'll put the ball down quite a bit and hit," he said. "We will try to be extremely physical the rest of the way. We have the numbers to do that. Every day, we will scrimmage at the end of the practice. We'll do some situational hitting at the end of each practice. We'll look at first-and-10 situations Friday."
The Hogs will have a major scrimmage on Saturday. They will stretch at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, and begin the scrimmage around 10 a.m. and hit until around noon, Nutt indicated.
"That's going to be a long scrimmage," Nutt said. "We'll try to look at a lot of people."
Nutt said the field was a bit muddy and sloppy on Thursday.
"It's still a little soft," he said. "I thought we were sluggish a bit today. We put in some new plays and we had some missed assignments and that's to be expected. As we went along today the tempo picked up. We didn't have any pads on today, but there were still some licks passed. You know you are going to get that. The competitive juices always flow."
Nutt stuck his nose in at the start of the Stan Heath press conference, and offerred his comments about the new basketball coach after the grid workout.
"He's an exciting person," Nutt said. "I just met him yesterday, and he's a class act. I saw some of his game with Oklahoma State and some of the Alabama game. Those games were impressive. I listened to him talk today, and I was impressed."
Jared Hicks (red jersey) works in pass protection drills.
Kacy Rodgers watches the defensive linemen in drills Thursday.
David Lee (left) watches Matt Jones fire a pass down the sideline.
Photos by Clay Henry.