It was watermelon day for the Arkansas football team as they broke from the morning workout in Walker Pavilion. That's the annual tradition of having water melons on the day they conclude two-a-days and this year was no different than in the past. Former player David Johnson trucked in the melons ice cold from Hope.
"Our players look forward to the melons every year," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "We had a good practice even before the melons arrived. We had yesterday off and our players came back and gave us a good morning."
The Hogs welcomed back freshman wideout London Crawford to the workout. Crawford had missed most of this week's practices with a sore knee. He made it through most of the workout before the knee got sore again.
"It was good to have Crawford back out," Nutt said. "He looked good early, but then he got sore."
Weston Dacus and Anthony Brown, both nursing leg injuries, are not expected back until Monday, Nutt said.
"We'll come back with a full padded workout tonight, and then we'll have a mock scrimmage -- with no tackling -- on Saturday night," said Nutt, who indicated he was still weighing the thought of scrimamging those destined for the scout team.
Nutt said there would be no tackling or scrimmage work for the first units, but he said it will still be graded like a scrimmage.
"We are going to see who gets lined up right, who knows their assignments and we are going to look at USC stuff (from the scout team)," Nutt said. "We just aren't going to tackle."
The Hogs will take Sunday off, although coaches will meet most of the afternoon. They'll resume workouts Monday late in the day after classes begin in the morning.
Nutt said Wendell Davis and Jerrell Norton continue to do well for the defense among the freshmen. He said he's anxious to see Norton practice with full pads on Friday night. Since he was late arriving (because of paperwork snafu), Norton has not been able to wear full pads to this point, but that will change Friday night.
"He's been everything you'd want so far, but you don't know if he can carry his pads or he'll wear down with pads," said secondary coach Louis Campbell. "But he's got the change of direction, he's got that true burst and he can run with you deep and he's 190 pounds. He's what you are looking for. But we don't have the full picture yet because we have seen him just in shorts. But he's off to a good start."
Norton did not practice Friday morning because NCAA rules allow only one practice a day for the first four days. He'll don pads for Friday's evening practice, his first of the day.
Shedrick Johnson worked as the nickel back in the morning workout, but Norton will get most of the work in the evening workout. The Hogs are hopeful that Norton's athletic ability will help their nickel coverage.
Friday morning grid update, 8/18
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