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Cats Showing Progress On Gridiron
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/17/2011
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Aug. 17, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. - With nearly 24 hours of rest between practices, the Arizona football team turned in a crisp two-hour practice on Wednesday morning at the Rincon Vista Complex. The team will hold another session this evening at 6 p.m.

Wednesday morning's workout marked the start of the second two-a-day practice of the week. While Monday's morning first practice was sluggish, players reacted much better to an earlier start today for what was an efficient practice for both the offense and defense.

The Coach's Observation

By the time the Wildcats wrap up this evening, they will have completed their 15th practice of camp since opening on Aug. 4. That is two full weeks of practice that has produced its share of nicks and dings, but also afforded many players the opportunity to gain reps.

A handful of freshmen continue to push for playing time at several key positions. Defensively, Cortez Johnson and Tramayne Bondurant are competing hard in the secondary, a place where the Wildcats are without safety Adam Hallfor the start of the season.

In the front seven, Hank Hobson and Rob Hankins are working heavily with the first and second teams to get game ready as soon as possible to provide depth along with returnees Paul Vassallo and Derek Earls. At defensive end, Reggie Gilbert and Dame Ndiayeare also working to deepen a position that lost three players to the NFL draft last April.

Offensively, Ka'Deem Carey and Jared Baker are getting their share of reps to see who fill in best behind returnees Keola Antolin, Daniel Jenkins and Kylan Butler. Meanwhile, tight end Michael Cooper has moved up the board behind Drew Robinson after Jack Baucusmoved to tackle earlier in camp.

When fall semester classes begin next Monday, the team will begin to consolidate its depth chart as it shifts attention to the season opener against Northern Arizona. That leaves several days, including a final scrimmage on Saturday, for players to boost their stock and earn playing time.

Saturday's scrimmage marks the annual Meet the Team Night at Arizona Stadium. The game is open and free of charge to the public, and will include a post-game autograph session for fans afterward. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the scrimmage set to begin at 6 p.m.

Arizona football tickets will be on sale at the event, but remain on sale daily through www.arizonawildcats.com and through the McKale Ticket Office (Monday-Friday) in person or by phone at 520-621-2287. Visit www.everydownbeardown.com for complete football ticket information.

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