Tuck Already A Pleasant Surprise

FAYETTEVILLE -- Since the beginning of preseason practices, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt has been looking for a wide receiver other than Marcus Monk to step up and prove himself.



So far, freshman Crosby Tuck has been a pleasant surprise.

The Shiloh Christian graduate continued to impress coaches by making several catches on Friday morning, including one in which he dove near the sideline to grab the football.

"Unlike a lot of the other freshman receivers that's been here the last few years, he knows how to get off the line of scrimmage," Nutt said of the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Tuck. "He's a little bit stronger and more physical than the ones we've had the last three years.

"And he's in the mix. He's definitely in the mix."

With Monk sidelined until at least mid-September because of an injured right knee, the Razorbacks have been looking to the other wide receivers for help.

Over the first two weeks of practice, Tuck has shown an ability to get off the line of scrimmage, run good routes and make tough catches in coverage. But the freshman wasn't as complimentary about his performance Friday as Nutt was.

"Today I had a couple of plays that were all right. There is still a lot of small details I need to work on and improve on quite a bit," Tuck said. "But I'm coming along a little bit, so hopefully I can keep improving and keep getting more comfortable with college football."



Better Showing

Nutt said he was pleased with the effort he saw from his players Friday morning after Thursday evening's sloppy practice.

"(We) came back and responded well this morning," Nutt said. "Guys moved around, played faster, better assignment-*wise and that was good to see."

Afterward, Nutt rewarded players with tables filled with watermelons. Some players walked off the practice field with a whole watermelon in their hands.



Injury Update

Offensive guard DeMarcus Love suffered a dislocated kneecap during practice, but Nutt said he believes the redshirt freshman should be fine. Love is expected to take part in today's scrimmage.

Kicker Jeremy Davis returned to practice for the first time this week after experiencing pain in his right foot following last week's preseason scrimmage. The Fort Smith native did some light kicking Friday, and he's also expected to play in the scrimmage.

But fullback Peyton Hillis (hamstring), tight end Ben Cleveland (neck stinger) and offensive tackle Nate Garner (concussion) continued to sit out of practice.



What To Expect

Nutt said tonight's scrimmage will go a long way in determining the depth chart for the Sept. 1 season opener against Troy University.

This is the Razorbacks' final preseason scrimmage, and Nutt hopes to get around 80 plays in. The scrimmage is scheduled for 6 p.m. today in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

"This is the depth-chart scrimmage all the way," Nutt said.

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