Barnett Returns To Practice

Arkansas running back Brandon Barnett has waited over the past few months to get back on the practice field, and that chance finally came Tuesday.

Barnett, who has been sidelined while recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, practiced for the first time since the spring on Tuesday morning.

"It's been a long time, ever since spring since I took a snap. So I just had to get back into the groove of things," Barnett said. "(There) wasn't too much rust because I've been working everyday, trying to get back."

The junior took part in limited contact drills, and he showed no signs of being bothered by the knee injury that he said included a torn lateral meniscus.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Tuesday that Barnett will be needed this season, despite the arrival of several highly touted freshman tailbacks.

"It will be a lot of catch-up for him," Petrino said. "He's got to prove he can take (the other running backs') reps away, and prove that he understands what he's doing in the passing game and in protection."

Greenhouse Effect

Arkansas quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee wants his passers to be more consistent and avoid the up-and-down performances that sometimes come with the position.

"I call it the Greenhouse Effect. You have to play in a greenhouse. It could be storming, it could be lightning and thundering, but inside the greenhouse, the temperature remains the same," McGee said. "That's how you have to play at quarterback.

"Everybody will be cheering for you one snap, then the next snap everybody is going to be booing you. Then one game you're going to throw a touchdown to win the game and everybody is going to say you're the greatest, then the following week everybody wants to run you out of town. Your personality has to be extremely consistent."

McGee has spent the past week trying to get his quarterbacks to be more consistent, but all of them — including returning starter Casey Dick — have struggled at times.

Injury Update

Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell returned to practice Tuesday after missing the previous day's work because of an undisclosed reason.

Meanwhile, tight end Andrew Davie continued to be sidelined by the apparent shoulder injury he suffered Monday. The senior got hurt when he collided with another player during a kickoff drill.

Too Much Fumbling

Petrino wasn't particularly pleased with running back Chip Gregory, who has experienced fumbling problems so far during preseason camp.

The sophomore looked impressive at times during Sunday's scrimmage, rushing for 66 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. But he fumbled at least twice during Tuesday's practice, including once during a goal-line drill.

"(I) didn't like the way he practiced today. We can't have the ball on the ground," Petrino said. "That's the one thing we all need to learn, is to be consistent. Put the scrimmage behind you, come out here the next day and get better in practice. And some of us haven't quite learned that yet."

No Lost Fish

At one time, it appeared that Reggie Fish might get lost in the shuffle at wide receiver, especially with so many highly regarded freshmen now on campus.

However, the 5-foot-7, 160-pound senior has gotten considerable work with the first-team offense over the first week of practice. He started Sunday's scrimmage, and he got more reps with the starters on Tuesday.

"I enjoy this offense; it's difficult. It's got a lot of complicated routes in it," Fish said. "We're just coming out working hard every day. With all this competition, it just makes you want to get better and compete every day."

—Alex Abrams and Robbie Neiswanger

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