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Tomey Cites Improvement in QBs
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/08/1999
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DOUGLAS, Ariz. (August 8) - Arizona quarterbacks Keith Smith and Ortege Jenkins are showing some improved athleticism, according to coach Dick Tomey.

The UA football team's second day of training camp at Cochise College near here was marked by morning heat and afternoon rains. In between, Tomey cited senior Smith and junior Jenkins for their early camp work but reserved further judgment until Aug. 28 when the Cats open at Penn State.

"Both are doing well and are improved athletically. They both lost some weight and are stronger and quicker. It looks like they've worked hard on areas in which they needed to improve. But it's hard to simulate game conditions and you can't really tell (who might have the edge) until we play a game," Tomey said.

"The good news is they both have competed in games and done a good job most of the time and a great job some of the time," he said.

All-Pac-10 linebacker Marcus Bell missed the morning practices after a bout of indigestion but returned in time for the afternoon practice, which was altered by the elements.

Nearby lightning shut down the afternoon drill before it started and the Cats moved indoors into the college gymnasium for a spirited workout in sneakers and flip-flops while it rained steadily for nearly 90 minutes outside.

"It wasn't a 'wasted' period where we didn't get anything accomplished," Tomey said. "The noise inside caused everyone to focus more and really concentrate on their assignments in each (quarter-speed) play. We'll be playing in plenty of places where noise can be a factor."

Tomey cited senior tailback Trung Canidate's work after five practice sessions in two days. "Trung hits the hole so fast. He has a lightning burst. When he sees the crease, he hits it fast. He's an inside runner - but that's good because few people can get outside against today's fast defenses."

UA was to send about 15 players back to campus in Tucson Sunday night to complete the final days of summer school, and thereby has considerable walk-through and teaching drills and only one practice per day scheduled Monday and Tuesday. Full-contact drills begin Wednesday and the full squad should be on hand, Tomey said.

Notes: Tomey plans a visit to a nearby prison in Douglas Tuesday when some inmates participate in a ceremony to receive their General Equivalency Diplomas. "They (prison officials) asked me to go. I'll figure out what to say before I go." ... Senior receiver Brad Brennan, who missed spring ball after surgery early in the year for a ligament injury in his right ankle, has been nearly at full speed as is listed No 1 on one side opposite Dennis Northcutt. "Brennan played with an injury in the latter part of the year which would have most people sidelined," Tomey said. "He's a tenacious player. (And) he's led the team in yards per catch the last two seasons." ... In one morning period involving one-on-one coverage of receivers by defensive backs, Smith completed six of eight passes and Jenkins completed seven of 10, while the No. 3 QB, redshirt freshman Jason Johnson, completed five of eight. Junior college transfer Marvin Brown caught four throws during the session, while Brad Brennan and Dennis Northcutt each caught three.

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