<B>Arizona Football Training Camp Notes - Day 3</B>

Aug. 8, 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona football team has been all business through three days of training camp sessions, and the Wildcats continued their preseason training with a strenuous workout at the UA's Rincon Vista activity fields south of campus Friday evening. The Wildcats continued to focus on fundamentals and position work in addition to several full-line and seven-on-seven passing and rushing sessions.

'We weren't very sharp early on in today's practice,' head coach John Mackovic said. 'We were slow getting going, but we picked it up, and the last hour was much better. We just finished our third day, and the players were a little tired today, but around the fifth day, their legs should start to feel better. They probably will be fatigued on Monday because of the double practices, but by Wednesday, they should feel like they can keep going.'

As a result of good defensive coverage by the secondary, Arizona's quarterbacks did not fare too well during the skeleton passing drills against the linebackers and defensive backs. Redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara completed 3-of-7 passes for 30 yards, while redshirt sophomore Nic Costa completed 2-of-9 passes for 20 yards. Freshman Kris Heavner completed a 10-yard pass and was 1-of-4 for the night, and fellow freshman Richard Kovalcheck finished 0-of-2 in limited action. Junior back-up cornerback Luis Nunez had an interception and broke up a pass in the skeleton drills to help spark the defense prior to the full-line session.

The Wildcat defense seemed to have the edge in the full-team session during the last 15 minutes of practice, and Nunez broke up his second pass of the night. On the offensive side, O'Hara hit junior wide receiver Ricky William for a 20-yard pass, and Costa connected on a short pass to junior tight end Steve Fleming. Redshirt sophomore Mike Bell had some effectiveness rushing the ball in the final team session.

Following today's practice, Mackovic had high praise for two projected starters on offense - senior offensive tackle Brandon Phillips and junior tight end Steve Fleming.

'Brandon is one of the best players on the offense. He had a terrific spring, and he is a great leader for this team. He has built himself into a real quality player,' Mackovic said.

'Steve is such a good prospect because he catches, he is smart, he can block, an he is very tough,' Mackovic said. 'He started out at quarterback when he got here, but he has really shown the growth potential to play something else, and he has the particular drive to be good. He is someone we can really count on entering the season.'

The Wildcats will practice in shorts and shoulder pads once again on Saturday, August 9, at 6:55 p.m. in the Rincon Vista facility. The team will then return to the UA practice field on August 10 for its first practice in full pads. After Sunday's first practice in pads, UA will commence two-a-days, though such double sessions are limited to five days throughout camp, which ends on August 22.

Other training camp notes...

... Mackovic announced that sophomore linebacker Marcus Smith damaged a ligament in his left hand and is expected to miss a few days of contact drills. 'We will put a cast on him, and he should be able to go after a few days,' Mackovic added.

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