Nutt attributes some of the intensity to an enhanced scrimmaging schedule this spring. In the past, UA coaches have shied away from too much live contact in an effort to prevent injuries. This year, Nutt has increased the live hitting in hopes of creating more depth at several key positions.
"We have done some type of scrimmaging every single day," Nutt said. "They have come with a good attitude. Today we ended up with goal line scrimmage. Our defense continues to get better. Elliott Harris, Arrion Dixon and Scott Summers have made some plays. Coach (Kacy) Rodgers has done a good job with the defensive line. They have improved fundamentally."
With the quarterback position up for grabs, all three contenders seemingly have risen to the occasion. Freshman Tarvaris Jackson and sophomore Ryan Sorahan held an early edge on sophomore Matt Jones, but the Fort Smith, Ark., native has made up ground after joining the football team following his stint with the Razorbacks on the basketball court.
"All three quarterbacks have improved," Nutt said. "Matt (Jones) has had to come the furthest. He is getting better. He is throwing the football better. When you have been out here a year and we've thrown everything at him, when you come back out you feel so much more comfortable because he has been there. Now the play doesn't seem like French to him anymore. He is improving, learning the structure of the defense and executing for us."
Arkansas will practice on Thursday and Friday before combining a practice and a scrimmage at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The final spring scrimmage will be held at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on April 13 at Noon.