Aug. 10, 2002
The University of Arizona opened its 2002 fall football training camp Saturday morning with an early morning mile run and a 90-minute workout at the UA's Rincon Vista activity fields south of campus.
"The players did a great job running this morning, and it was great to see the way the players attacked the (mile) run," said head coach John Mackovic. "We are light years ahead of where we were a year ago. The players did great work during the summer, and it showed today."
All but two players completed the mile in the prescribed maximum times.
The full team was together in shorts and shoulder pads for the first time in early morning drills at Rincon Vista to open two-a-days. Players and coaches focused on fundamentals for most of the morning. The team won't don full pads until Wednesday, but the Wildcats worked in several full-line and seven-on-seven passing and rushing sessions with evident enthusiasm.
To open camp, the Wildcat quarterbacks performed decently in skeleton passing action against the linebackers and defensive backs. No. 1 Jason Johnson completed 5-of-10 passes for 42 yards, redshirt freshman Nic Costa completed 4-of-7 passes for 28 yards, and newcomer Ryan O'Hara completed 1-of-3 for five yards.
Johnson completed 4-of-4 passes for 79 yards in the full-line drills. No tackling was allowed in the full-line work.
"It was hot, but I really liked the way the players worked against each other tempo wise. The veterans knew what to expect coming into the first practice, and we want to give the rookies opportunities to get some reps. We just have to get used to playing harder and longer every day," Mackovic said.
Arizona will hold camp until Aug. 23, with twice daily practices scheduled on all but six of the days until then.
Coaches and medical staff have erected a large tent on both the practice field and the Rincon Vista facility to help players stay cool and hydrate periodically in the shade in the 100-degree Tucson weather.