After two days of wearing a jersey and shorts on the practice field, and two more days of wearing shoulder pads, he put on the rest of his football gear.
"Just to feel your thigh pads on your thighs, your hip pads on your hips, it just lets you know it's complete," Forte said. "It's time to go full speed and hit somebody."
Arkansas held its first full pads practice of the preseason Friday, ending the NCAA-mandated climatization period with a bang. Forte and the Razorbacks participated in their first full contact work leading into the season opener against Western Illinois on Aug. 30.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said it wasn't a bad performance from the Razorbacks, either.
"I thought we tackled a lot better than we did in the spring (on) the first day in pads," he said. "We talked much better than we did in spring, so I was happy about that."
Forte said the full pads work finally gives the Razorbacks a chance to see how the freshmen class will react to contact at the college level. He thought his fellow linebackers — Tenarius Wright and Jelani Smith — performed well.
Petrino wasn't as happy with the offense, though.
The Razorbacks turned in a few highlight moments — like freshman receiver Jarius Wright's touchdown catch in 11-on-11 drills — but there were problems as well.
"I didn't like the way we executed our pass (skeleton drills)," Petrino said. "We usually do better than that. But we did come back afterwards and got work in our inside run and did a nice job and worked a lot of third downs."
Wright Learning To Finish
Wright continued to stand out in practice, making a case for significant playing time when the season starts.
But the Warren native said he still must work on running hard until the end of the play, which offensive coordinator Paul Petrino demands from his receivers in practice.
"I'm used to catching it and just a little short burst (at the end of the play). That was back in high school," Wright said. "You've got to catch it and burst real fast in college, game speed. Everybody is faster."
Petrino expects his receivers to sprint to the end zone after making a catch, even after the play is over. If they don't, he typically chases them to the end zone.
So when asked what it was like having Petrino chase him downfield, Wright said it encourages him to go harder.
"He's pretty fast," he said.
After going through five days of practice, Arkansas players will get a chance to see what it's like to do two sessions in one day.
The Razorbacks will kick off two-a-day practices today. They'll take the field for the first time at 9 a.m. and then return for a second practice at 4 p.m.
Petrino insisted that neither practice will be as simple as a walk-through, so players should expect to work.
"They'll both be good practices," Petrino said. "The second one is shorter. It's just a quick hour and a half and get some work done and get off the field."
Receiver Rod Coleman was held out of practice Friday after suffering an injury to his left hand on Thursday.
The extent of the injury is unknown, and it's uncertain when the junior will return to the practice field.
Running back Brandon Barnett, offensive lineman Kareem Crowell, linebacker Wendel Davis, running back Albert Gary and tight end Lance Thompson also missed practice time Thursday.
— Alex Abrams and Robbie Neiswanger
HOGS PUT ON FULL PADS
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