Aug. 8, 2001
Arizona opened its 2001 fall football training camp Wednesday morning with an early morning mile run on the campus practice field and a 90-minute workout at the UA's Rincon Vista activity fields south of campus.
"It is always good to shake out the cobwebs. We were able to get some things done, but we will get much more done this afternoon," said head coach John Mackovic following the morning session.
Wide receivers Andrae Thurman and Bobby Wade posted times of 5:43 to lead all teammates in the mile. Coach John Mackovic prescribed maximum times of six to seven minutes for the various position players. Others doing well for their groups included defensive back Jarvie Worcester, tight ends Justin Levasseur and James Hugo and offensive linemen Reggie Sampay and Steven Grace, among others.
Players enjoy some shade and evaporative cooling during breaks at camp in an effort to combat problems with the Tucson heat.
"Some ran very well, and some didn't. I haven't had a chance to look at any of the times, but we will make a better assessment later in the day," Mackovic said.
The full team was together in shorts for the first time in late morning drills at Rincon Vista to open two-a-days. Quarterbacks performed decently in skeleton passing action, with newcomer Nic Costa completing 3-of-3 passes for 15 yards, No. 1 Jason Johnson completing 4-of-7 for 20 yards, Cliff Watkins 2-of-6 for 20 yards and walk-on Jesse Gran an even 3-of-3 for 40 yards. The team's fifth quarterback, John Rattay, was completing summer school and had to leave practice early.
"Well, I am certainly glad that we are not going to play our first game tomorrow," Mackovic said. "We are a long ways away from being ready, but the players are happy to finally be out on the field, and once we get into the routine, it's like auto pilot."
Jarvie Worcester and Bobby Wade posted the best times in the team's mile run to open the first day of full-team fall football camp.
Arizona will hold camp until Aug. 18, with twice daily practices scheduled on all but three of the days until then.
Coaches and medical staff have erected a large tent on the practice field to help players stay cool and hydrate periodically in the shade in the 100-degree Tucson weather.
"This is a much better environment than a lot of places throughout the country. The heat and humidity are lower, and I don't think it is any worse than any place else," Mackovic said.
The heat took a toll on three players in the morning mile run, despite starting at 6:30 a.m. Safety Brandon Nash, linebacker Joe Siofele and cornerback Jermaine Chatman, all expected starters, were held out of most of the practice action two hours later.