Tight end Brad Hefley was not dressed in pads, but did attend the workout and was on the sideline with strength and conditioning staff. Wide receiver Marquel Wade and offensive tackle Anthony Oden were not at practice. Oden, who had a court date, is expected back Tuesday. There was no word on Wade.
Alex Tejada and Eddie Camara continued to duel for the placekicker job on an even foot. Both were perfect until missing their final kick of the day, both from 44 yards. Tejada was wide left and Camara followed wide right.
The punters were not consistent in a long session that featured head coach Bobby Petrino standing just a few feet away from the three waging that competition. Dylan Breeding had the best day but wasn't perfect. He did have a half dozen boomers with distance and hang time in what may have been his best day of an improving fall camp.
There was no live work on the day, meaning no tackling to the ground. But it was a physical day with plenty of contact.
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said the first day in full pads was a transition for the newcomers.
"We had to urge them to keep pushing through it," Robinson said. "They figured it out and took over after they realized how we were going to do things."
Robinson said the first merged practice was good.
Robinson praised the play of Arkansas' secondary in practice to this point.
"They're getting themselves in position to make a lot of plays," Robinson said. "Everything starts with assignments. I feel they're a lot more confident in what their assignments are. Now we're really focusing on technique and it's starting to come in. We just have to do it all the time."
Freshman Chris Smith worked with the second team defense.
"It seemed like there was a lot of critique going on there," Robinson said. "The pace is something they have to make an adjustment to. When they are moved up to that group they have to realize the tempo of practice is something they have to get used to...Chris needs to understand tempo is a lot faster and the athletes are a lot better. He needs to adjust there.
Smith has been linked all summer with freshman defensive tackle Byran Jones because of their individual workouts in the weight room. Robinson said he is excited about Jones' raw ability.
"At the age he's at, if he can continue to grasp what we're wanting done with the God-given talent he has and the strength he has, he can be a dominant player for us," Robinson said. "The hard transition for a youngster is the fact they're playing against college football players. Those guys across - the older guys, especially - are more sound in their technique and a lot stronger. That God-given strength sometimes doesn't work out, so he still needs to work on his technique. But when he does put it together, and he has done that a few times, he's a man. He's the kind of guy we've been asking to get and now we've finally got one.
"We wanted to make sure the message to those young kids was to go out and represent and show the older guys they're working hard."
Head coach Bobby Petrino got after the defense on the first three plays of the first 11-on-11 session of the day concerning their pursuit. But the pursuit and chase of the defense was solid the rest of the day.
"Coach asked us to pick up that area and we took care of it," said defensive end Jake Bequette. "I think that's an aspect that just isn't natural on a day this hot, but we took care of it within the defense with some leadership from that point on. We talked about it on the sideline and in the huddle and gotten it done. We'll continue to work on that.
"I thought it was a good, fast practice with a lot of physical work. There were more mental errors because you add in the entire team. But it was still a good day."
Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis continues to shuffle players around in his front five, including plenty of work for Wade Grayson at center. Seth Oxner has worked at guard and center in several practices. With Oden out, David Hurd got some time with at tackle with the second unit.
"We are going to look at a lot of guys in camp," Klenakis said. "You can't wait until the season to find out about somebody. I'm going to move them around and find out what we have. That's what camp is about. It's important to check out everyone we have and give them work now. We have to give everyone some time."
Klenakis is pleased with the start of the camp and singled out one linemen that has made a jump since spring.
"That would be Travis Swanson," Klenakis said. "He's had very good progress from the end of spring to this point in camp. He has some makeup to him. He's made major progress. He's got some street in him and as they say something in his neck."
Alvin Bailey, running with the first unit at strong guard, continues to impress.
"Alvin continues to get better," Klenakis said. "He's made good pregress right along and he's had good carry over from the spring. He's a talented guy."
Asked about the true freshman, Klenakis said, "It's just too early. I'm not going to make a judgment after four days. What I will say is that they are talented. I think we see why we recruited them. But it takes time for this position. I had a guy that fell down a whole lot in the first week a few years ago and he was an all-conference player in three years. Just don't be too quick to mark anyone off at this position because it's a tough, long process."
Defensive line coach Bobby Allen didn't want to go too far into judging his young guys, but did mention tackle Byran Jones.
"We've seen in drills that he is strong and explosive," Allen said of Jones. "Mentally, he can pick it up. He's bought in and he's a good listener.
"I think you see some typical things with a young linemen, though. He played at a level in high school where there were times that he'd see a player across from him that was 165 pounds. He could whip them without playing technique. So he has a tendency to play too high. Still, he's so strong that he isn't getting moved much. We just have to keep working to get him lower, like you do with all young ones."
However, defensive end Damario Ambrose, a senior, shakes his head when he watches Byran Jones handling double teams at his young age.
"Byran? He's an ox," Ambrose said. "He gets too high a lot of the time, but two men aren't moving him. That's unheard of and he's really strong. He just has to keep working on his technique and then he'll have it. He's already got the strength."
Ambrose loves defensive end Chris Smith, another true freshman.
"He's a freak," Ambrose said. "He's got the feet of a wide receiver. He needs to come off the ball with that wide receiver speed and play lower, but he's just getting started and is already very impressive. I really like him."
Bequette said much the same thing.
"What I can tell you first off with Chris is that he's way ahead of where I was as a freshman, way ahead," Bequette said. "I'd seen him on tape the last three days, but this was the first time we've been out there together. He just has to keep learning. I think he's going to help us this year."
Ambrose said he was glad to get the newcomers with the veterans Monday.
"To be honest, our coach (Steve Caldwell) is a perfectionist," Ambrose said, breaking into a smile as he talked. "So he's going to work to get these young guys doing it 100 percent correct. So his focus today was a little more on them than us. So that helped us a little bit to have the attention on their mistakes and not ours.
"The last few days we have been short on numbers when we've practiced with just the veterans, so our lines got a little longer today and that helped. What we did the last few days was pretty tough, practicing with a small squad. It was nice to have everyone together."
Dede Jones worked ahead of Pat Jones at defensive tackle during a late 11-on-11 session, but line coach Bobby Allen said there have been no depth chart moves.
"Pat was just late getting to one drill, so we made the switch for that reason," Allen said. "Both of them have done real well so far."
The depth at defensive tackle appears to be one of the strengths of the squad.
"We do have some numbers there right now," Allen said. "We are getting better and we have guys who have been here a little while that know what we expect and how we want to play. It's been a good first few days. It's going to get tougher now that we've added pads. It'll get more physical and harder. But these guys know how to practice and most of them have played."
Bequette agreed with that.
"I think you see our defensive line has some depth all the way across," he said. "I think you see some of those inside guys really step up. Dede is going to have a great year."