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Football Camp a Month Away
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 07/06/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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July 6, 2006

TUCSON--University of Arizona football resumes in earnest a short month from now when players officially report for fall camp the first week in August.

'Report' is a relative term. Nearly all players, in varying shifts, are currently engaged in off-season work with strength and conditioning director Corey Edmond and staff, plus work out voluntarily in smaller play-action groups on the practice fields. The official report date is Aug. 1 for newcomers and Aug. 2 for veterans, with the first fall camp practice slated for Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The Cats begin two-a-days on Aug. 8 after five days of orientation style practices. Seven of the eight twice-daily sessions will

Senior DE Marcus Smith

Tackle Peter Graniello

Willie T. and Stoops

be split, with either newcomers or veterans in morning drills, and the full team involved in every evening practice.

UA's annual Meet the Team scrimmage will be held Saturday evening Aug. 19 and University of Arizona classes begin Monday, Aug. 21. Many players, including 2006 true freshmen, have taken advantage of summer school classes in a first session which closes today, or will take courses in a second session of summer school that starts Monday and ends Aug. 9.

UA opens the season Saturday, Sept. 2, against Brigham Young University in a game to be televised live at 7:15 p.m. (MST/PDT) by TBS Sports.

 

Head coach Mike Stoops' third UA team has been rated in the middle of the Pac-10 by most publications, which would put it in strong contention for a bowl berth, the program's first since the 12-1 Holiday Bowl team of 1998.

Much of the buzz about UA football since the close of its 3-8 campaign in 2005 has centered on various playmakers, notably junior cornerback Antoine Cason, sophomore quarterback Willie Tuitama, senior safety Michael Johnson and receivers Syndric Steptoe (senior), Mike Thomas (sophomore) and Anthony Johnson (junior).

The Cats' linebacking trio of Spencer Larsen (junior), Dane Krogstad (junior) and Ronnie Palmer (sophomore), and an expected strong offensive line led by tackles Peter Graniello (junior) and Tanner Bell (senior) also have drawn focus.

But the Cats return nine starters on defense and eight on offense and will not be a team of newbies. Defensive ends Marcus Smith (senior) and Johnathan Turner (junior) should help anchor a stronger front. Senior Nick Folk has a chance to be one of the best in the nation at placekicker. Steptoe is moving up UA's all-purpose charts. Some positions, such as the No. 1 running back spot left vacant by four-year rushing leader Mike Bell, will have to be determined early in fall camp, with junior Chris Henry at the top of the list for now.

UA returns a redshirt class full of players who should contend for major roles and incoming newcomers helped give UA back-to-back top 20 recruiting classes.

 

 

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