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Football Camp Notes...
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/14/2001
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 14, 2001

TUCSON - Football Camp Notes...

...Junior quarterback Jason Johnson continues to throw well in passing drills. Monday night he completed eight of 10 for about 121 yards in one of the most appealing periods during head coach John Mackovic's practices -- the "skeleton" drills pitting the QB and six receivers, tight ends or running backs against linebackers and defensive backs. Johnson found senior WR Malosi Leonard for three of his tosses and hit junior WR Bobby Wade twice, one for about 30 yards... Redshirt freshman John Rattay also hit for a high percentage, completing six of eight passes. Combined, those two signal callers and sophomore Cliff Watkins completed 67 percent of their throws despite a couple of dropped passes...

...Coach Mackovic divided up the team in a basic varsity/junior varsity split to afford younger players more repetitions, and said he plans to continue the trend the rest of the week. "We have some good young players who need reps. The (video) tape will allow them to watch themselves and learn more quickly," Mackovic said, and cited freshman quarterback Nic Costa, among others. "Nic Costa hasn't had a chance to show a lot of stuff. We don't exactly have a veteran quarterback corps and we have to move quickly to get the guys with some experience game-ready. By splitting up, players like Nic will have a chance to make more progress"...

...Junior defensive tackle Young Thompson, a native of American Samoa, led a post-practice prayer in his native language Monday night. It was likely that only the Cats' contingent of Pacific Islanders understood, but Mackovic was impressed. "There are a lot of cultures and backgrounds represented among you," he told the team, urging them to make the most of the multi-ethnic blend on the squad and get to know each other away from football...

...Mackovic said off-season conditioning and strength programs have paid dividends. "I see linemen doing things they didn't do in spring. They're quicker. It's not a game of just being big -- you have to move," he said...

...Tuesday's schedule included videtape study and meetings in the morning, then one practice session on campus at 5 p.m.

...Wednesday's afternoon practice on the campus practice field was moved from Arizona Stadium and will include some scrimmaging and Mackovic said sessions will include game-conditioning stints by the top units. "There won't be so much (substitution). We'll have our lines in there for six, seven or more plays in a row. We need them to see extended time for game conditioning"...

...Non-scholarship wide receiver Scott Altick, who played in spring ball, has joined camp in place of WR Burke Eiteljorg, who quit the team earlier this week...

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