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Practice Begins At Camp Cochise
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/07/1999
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DOUGLAS, Ariz. (August 7) - The highly regarded Arizona football team concluded its first day of fall training camp at Cochise College near here Saturday but head coach Dick Tomey, as usual, offered few no conclusions about his squad, which is ranked No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll.

"My impressions are the same thing as my impressions of the first day for the last seven years," he said. "The guys worked hard and had a good attitude, but we're not hitting anybody. I can't single out anyone as impressing me because this isn't football."

The Cats will continue practices in shorts or half-pads until Wednesday when full contact will be allowed by NCAA rules.

"In a week maybe we'll know some more. No one a year ago guessed (then freshman defensive tackle) Keoni Fraser was a player. But when we started to hit, he jumped out. We said, 'do it again,' and he did it again. And again," Tomey said.

Nonetheless UA's drills moved smoothly and included some tryouts with some big defensive players in the offensive backfield in power sets. Freshman Young Thompson, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle who enrolled in January, ran as a fullback on a few plays.

"Young was a fullback his junior year and a quarterback his senior year (at Samoana High School in Pago Pago, American Samoa), so he's an athlete," Tomey said. However, Thompson's general future looks bright as a defender, where he's a backup at an interior tackle spot.

The camp played host to head coach Cam Cameron of the University of Indiana and several of his defensive staff members . The Boilermakers run the same type of flex defense Arizona has used successfully for six years. "They're looking for ideas. Exchanging ideas with another staff is a great thing. We'll give them some and they'll give us some," Tomey said.

UA broke its first day into three 90 minute sessions -- two in the morning separated by a 45-minute indoor rest period, and one in the late afternoon. That schedule continues Sunday followed by several days of multiple walk-through sessions and a solid afternoon practice on Monday and Tuesday.

Notes: Heralded tailback Leo Mills of Humble, Texas, looked impressive in some drills working behind All-American Trung Canidate. "He's excited and we're excited about having him out here," Tomey said. Mills did not practice or play in his 1998 true freshman year in order to start his collegiate career with a firm academic foundation ... Cornerback Leland Gayles, No. 1 on one side, is back in full action after missing half of last season and spring ball following a back injury at Washington. "Leland has a positive attitude and is sound of body and strong. It's going to be a mental hurdle for him to him to start hitting again, but we think he's ready," Tomey said.

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