While the apparent neck injury to Brandon Lampkin certainly put a damper on the University of Arkansas' first day in fuil pads, it was nevertheless a good effort according to Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino.
"It went good," Petrino said. "I thought we tackled a lot better than we did in the spring in the first day of pads…We tackled much better than we did in spring."
The Razorbacks got started with a perimeter drill, got in some 11-on-11 work and had a good day in all aspects except for one.
"I didn't like the way we executed our pass scale – we have to do better than that," Petrino said. "We did come back afterwards and got good work in our inside run. We worked a lot of third downs today."
Putting the full pads on gave the linebackers a chance to shine – including at the middle spot where returnees Jerry Franklin (6-2, 229) and Jermaine Love (6-0, 227) are trying to fend off hard-charging true freshman Tenarius Wright (6-2, 230).
"Tenarius is doing a good job competing in there," Petrino said. "There is pretty good competition between Jerry Franklin and Jermaine Love and Tenarius. All three of them are getting reps with the ones.
"Tenarius is a young man that has great instincts and really knows the game," Petrino said. "The best thing is that he came into camp with the attitude that I am going to play as a freshman and I am going to compete for a starting spot and hasn't looked back. I have been very impressed."
Wright, the former Memphis prep standout, says that is indeed the mindset he has.
"You basically know that you have got to come out tough with a great mindset," Wright said. "You have got to come out hungry, go home and study the books and just come out, not in cocky mode, but a confident one knowing that lineman are going to come up on you, but you have got to believe in yourself."
Franklin was glad to have the full gear on as well in a competition where defensive coordinator said the winner will be the most physical one.
"I feel like I stepped it up physically today," Franklin said. "This was our first full pad practice and I feel I was pretty physical. I think the (race to start) is pretty close and everybody is doing a good job executing plays and being physical."
On the offensive side of the ball, Petrino lauded wideout Carlton Salters.
"I think Carlton is having a good camp," Petrino said. "He's been very reliable on his routes. I think he is faster. I think he a great summer and looks a lot faster than he did in the spring. He looks real sharp. I think he has dropped one ball in five days."
He does want starting quarterback Casey Dick to be more consistent.
"He has been a little bit inconsistent," Petrino said. "He has had some real good days and one bad day. Today was probably a good day except for one period. He has get more consistent, focus and be more accurate.
"When he sets his footwork, understands exactly what his timing is, he does a good job," Petrino added. "He had one day where he got lazy with his footwork and wasn't as accurate as he normally is and as he needs to be."
Petrino admits that it is tough to get all six quarterbacks – Casey and Nathan Dick, Alex Mortensen, freshmen Tyler Wilson and Jim Youngblood and redshirting Michigan transfer Ryan Mallett - a needed amount of reps.
"We have too many quarterbacks to be honest with you and they all can't get reps so we kind of take a day for them," Petrino said. "Yesterday was kind of Tyler Wilson's day. He got the extra reps that were available. Today it was Alex Mortensen. We trying to figure out how to utilize all these quarterbacks and still give Ryan some reps so he has some carryover when we go in the spring."
Speaking of Mallett, he throws with the most velocity and that has resuited in some drops from the wide receivers.
"You have got to get used to it," Petrino said. "He has a different velocity and the ball spins and there's the timing of them coming out of routes and not quite not being under balance yet. It is something you have to get used to, but they've got a whole year to do that."
Arkansas will go twice for the first time on Saturday with open workouts at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"They will both be good practices," Petrino said. "The second one is shorter – just a quick hour-and-a-half, get some work done and get off the field."
O o o
Lampkin, a redshirt freshman defensive end, was apparently injured in period 14 of the 24-period practice.
An ambulance came on the field and he was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.
"Well, obviously we are concerned about Lampkin," Petrino said. "He got hit early in practice and had some neck pain and then all of a sudden he came over and laid down and started having some pain up his neck. At that time we just went with University protocol and activated our procedures we are going to do – call the ambulance in. It is too early to say exactly what is wrong with him."
Petrino said he did see the injury happen.
"Actually I did see the play in period 14 right after our break. He kind of had a back strain and went over the sideline and he was okay for awhile and then all of sudden started getting some shooting pain up in his neck area. So our trainer Joe Sheehan went through the procedures."
It was not the first time that Petrino has seen this happen.
"Usually this happens once or twice a year and really it is just making sure you go through the proper procedures," Petrino said. "Most of the time everything is okay and we are hoping that will be the case here.
"It always shakes you and that's just human nature and certainly with football players," Petrino added. "Anytime that happens there's concern, a little bit of quietness went on on the sidelines. I'm concerned for him, but I am hopeful that he will be just fine."
o o o
Arkansas ia adding a transfer running back in Jovan Davis (6-3, 230), who was at the University of Houston last season after a stint at Hargrave Military Academy.
Davis, who has been at practice since Monday just observing, confirmed he will play at Arkansas and be able to start practice when school starts on Aug. 25.
Davis redshirted last season so he will be a redshirt sophomore with three years to play when he becomes eligible to play in 2008.
UA offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Paul Petrino works with his position players.
Crosby Tuck hauls in a pass as Carlton Salters (19), Greg Childs (85) and others look on.
Friday Grid Update, 8/8
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