TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona Football team opened the spring season with a two-hour practice on Monday. The session was the first of 15 spring days allowed by the NCAA
“It felt great to be out here today,” second-year head coach Mike Stoops said. “To get out of the office and see the progress we’ve made as a program.
“There’s really no comparison when you look at where we started a year ago to where we’re at right now. The execution, the speed, the confidence in what we’re doing is so much greater even with the exception of some of the missing pieces.”
The team went through the standard drills including special teams, 7-on-7, 11-on-11 and individuals.
A number of junior college transfers participated in their first practice at UA, including wide receiver BJ Vickers, tight end Brandon McCall and H-back Paul Nichols.
Linebacker Spencer Larsen made his return to the Wildcat practice field after missing the two previous seasons while on a church mission. Larsen recorded 41 tackles and two sacks as a true freshman for Arizona in 2002.
As expected, quarterback Adam Austin took the majority of the offensive snaps in place of injured starter Richard Kovalcheck.
Arizona will return to the practice field on Wednesday and Friday this week before holding the first of three scrimmages of the spring on Saturday. The Saturday scrimmages, which begin at 9:15 a.m., are open. The weekday practices remain closed to the general public. The annual spring game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium on April 23.
Wide receiver/defensive back BJ Dennard did not participate on the first day after injuring his right shoulder ... Dennard joined FS Darrell Brooks (shoulder), LB Sean Jones (knee), DB Michael Johnson (foot), DT Paul Philipp (shoulder) and QB Richard Kovalcheck as spectators at practice ... QB Adam Austin impressed offensive coordinator Mike Canales with the poise he showed in his first practice as the No. 1 QB. He ended up completing 14 of 24 passes in the team drill and went 5 for 10 during the blitz portion of the first day.