Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Full-blast Scrimmaging Limited
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: August 11, 1999
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DOUGLAS, Ariz. (August 11) - Arizona spent its first practices in full gear at football training camp on the Cochise College campus near here, but kept it relatively light in terms of live tackling and sustained hitting.

Freshman tailback Leo Mills, a strong contender for a backup role to All-American Trung Canidate, went down with a shoulder separation in morning drills and is expected to miss action for about two weeks.

"We got to scrimmage a little today, but we're not going to do it lot," Arizona coach Dick Tomey said. "Our guys like to hit and that's one of the reasons we've had success. But for obvious reasons we have to temper that. Today's players are too big, too strong and too fast.

"It used to be you came to camp to get in shape. Now the guys come back from summer and are already there. You come to camp to get ready to play and a bunch of contact isn't necessary," he said.

A dozen players returned from the UA campus after completing summer school in Tucson and others should return on Thursday to bring the whole squad in action. "We knew when we agreed to play in an early game (the Pigskin Classic against Penn State Aug. 28), that we were going to have an early conflict with school. But it's helped us give a number of young and new players more practice time," Tomey said.

Freshman Bobby Wade has been moved from running back to wide receiver and has shown promise in camp, working with the top units periodically. Junior college transfer Austin Uku appears to be a contender for a strong role as a rush end and juco offensive guard Kevin Barry has put himself in the picture as a possible starter, Tomey said in citing some new players.

Tomey had strong praise for junior center Bruce Wiggins, the returning starter. "He's as valuable a guy as we have -- a center who's quick. he does things we've never had a center do. Last year we had no earthly right to expect that he'd play as well as he did. This year we expect him to be a big plus as a returning veteran."

In reply to a question about facing Penn State, a No. 1 preseason pick by Sports Illustrated as was Arizona in 1994, Tomey said. "Penn State was picked there a few years ago, too. It's a nice thing. It was good for our program, but it doesn't do anything for you on the field."

Notes: Tomey elaborated on his visit Tuesday to speak at a high school G.E.D. and junior college graduation ceremony for inmates at the state prison outside Douglas, telling reporters, "I was taken by the men who have very good intentions about their future and are doing something about it. They're trying to educate themselves and improve themselves. I usually don't have trouble thinking about what to say when I address groups, but I was very concerned. I felt a sense of responsibility to say the right thing. These men had taken such a positive step. There are lessons to be learned all over the place. I was impressed with their smiles, the look in their eyes and their interest," he said... With many returning starters and veterans, and a corps of players who spent much of the summer in Tucson working out on their own, camp seems to be going very smoothly, according to special teams player Derek Hall. "We seem to be doing the right thing a lot of the time. We're getting a lot of work done every day," he said. Hall, a reserve defensive back, has drawn notice in camp -- for the fourth consecutive year -- ripping the ball out of offensive players' hands on their way back to the huddle following plays. Every ball he gets loose causes the fumbler to undergo some immediate tongue lashing and extra conditioning.

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