Football Training Camp Notes

Aug. 11, 2003

TUCSON - Arizona Football Training Camp Notes...

...Quarterbacks Ryan O'Hara, Nic Costa, Kris Heavner and Richard Kovalcheck combined to complete 12 of 17 passes in controlled drills against UA's pass coverage personnel Monday morning...

...Redshirt freshman O'Hara hit five of six for 45 yards, sophomore Costa complete three of four for 25 yards and true freshman Heavner hit on three of his four passes for 35 yards. True frosh Kovalcheck was 1-for-3...

...The skeleton-style drills pit the offensive backfield and receivers against the secondary and underneath coverage, with no linemen involved... O'Hara connected with two tight ends and three wide-outs while Costa threw a couple to WR Ricky Williams and one dump-off toss to RB Brent Bolden. Williams led all receivers with three catches while freshman Syndric Steptoe snared two...

...In the full-team drill that caps each practice, the offense had a rougher go of it, with running backs held to negligible yardage on a half-dozen attempts. Costa was sacked (in a tag-off -- there was no live tackling) by soph tackle Brad Brittain and fumbled another time, backup linebacker Landon Kafentzis snared running back Chris Henry for a tackle-for-loss, and backup linebacker Justin Stewart also had a sack, against O'Hara... The QBs did hit six of their short-yardage passes, however, including two each by the true freshmen

...The team drill was slowed by some punitive conditioning work imposed by coach John Mackovic, who had the offensive unit run 'lines' after several successive lackadaisical jobs of lining up or missed alignments...

...Henry is getting a good look in drills. The freshman from Stockton, Calif., won the CIF 100-meter sprint title at the close of the school year, in somewhat of an upset...

...UA conducted the morning workout in pads and shorts, and donned full pads for the evening practice...

...A number of players were excused from morning practice early to take the 'summer school bus,' back to campus for classes. 'That will happen on two-a-days just today and Wednesday,' Mackovic said. Classes end Thursday. 'That's part of the deal,' he said.

..Mackovic said the extra running during the team period was to send a message. 'We weren't getting lined up quickly enough,' he noted to the media, but earlier had delivered some more direct words to the team about paying attention...

...Junior cornerback Luis Nunez, who received a medical hardship year after missing all but the first game last year after joining the team as a winter transfer, has been impressive in camp and is contending with others for a major role. 'Luis has looked terrific. I've been very pleased. He's older, smarter and stronger,' Mackovic said. Nunez emerged from spring ball as a key sub in down-and-distance situational defensive units... The coach also had nice words for free safety Darrell Brooks, who missed spring ball while rehabilitating an injury. 'Brooks is a gem to watch,' he said...

...Sophomore offensive guard John Parada and sophomore offensive tackle Tanner Bell missed workouts with knee injuries. Mackovic said he anticipated Parada would return shortly and that Bell was to undergo more evaluation in the next day or two...

...UA will hold its annual Media Day on Thursday. Normally it's held the day after players report to camp, but the new full-team reporting date (rather than newcomers arriving early for orientation) made it tough to schedule before the 14th. This year reporters will benefit by Mackovic having seen players -- particularly newcomers -- in action for 10 practices...

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