Weather has been a nice surprise for UAM

MONTICELLO – The biggest surprise for Arkansas-Monticello head coach Hud Jackson so far this preseason has been the unusually cool weather that most of Arkansas has experienced in the last week.

“The weather has been unbelievable,” Jackson said. “In all my years of coaching, I have never experienced weather like we have had recently.

“Because of that, our production has been going pretty well.”

Unfortunately for the Boll Weevils, the nice weather left this week and in its place the typical scorching hot days of August have returned and already taken their toil on the team.

“This week, the heat has been intense and guys had to step out to catch their breath,” Jackson said. “With a certain comfort level, there comes more production from a team.”

Jackson is still on the fence about who the starting quarterback will be, but he believes he should have a decision by next week.

“We’ve seen some good things out of all them,” Jackson said. “By Monday, we should be able to put a tag on a guy.

“But there are still some things for us to look at.”

Competing for the position are three freshmen and two sophomores. Brett Courville, a true freshman from Greenwell Springs, La., seems to be the front-runner, as of now.

“He has done some good things but he is still a work in progress,” Jackson said. “After (Thursday night’s) scrimmage, we should be able to get a better feel of what direction we are going in.

“I think we will be ready by next week.”

Expected to return by next week is sophomore Marquis Massey, who was carted off the field last week.

According to Jackson, Massey was competing in a two-man sled drill when his hands slipped off the pad and he hit face first into the sled.

“It shocked him a little bit and for precautious reasons we didn’t move him,” Jackson said. “Shellye Byrd, our athletic trainer, got him loaded and to a hospital.”

X-rays and MRIs revealed it was “basically a sprain,” Massey is doing great and “should be able to start practice again on Monday.”

UAM will host an inter-squad scrimmage Thursday night and will begin their season on Sept. 7 at Ada, Okla., against East Central University.

“(Thursday) night will be real interesting and I’m looking forward to it,” Jackson said. “We want to get our younger guys to get some time and we want to see a heavy aspect of our special teams.

“We want to try to get every aspect covered (Thursday night).”