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TULSA PUT ON PADS FOR FIRST TIME

Jordan James runs after catching the ball in a passing drill Saturday morning.
Jordan James runs after catching the ball in a passing drill Saturday morning.
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Aug. 4, 2012

Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Tulsa football team put on pads for the first time this preseason camp as the Hurricane practiced in shorts and shoulder pads for a two-hour morning practice on Harwell Field.

Head Coach Bill Blankenship talked about being physical today for the first time in pads on day three of preseason drills.

"What was interesting was to transfer what we did the last two days in shorts to putting on shoulder pads and having a more physical presence. The first day in pads there is always a little bit of a learning curve," said Blankenship.

"I really liked the way that the defense came out very aggressive today. I thought our offensive unit held back a little bit. We had some good plays, but for the most part the day went to the defense," said Blankenship. "We're seeing some really good things. Our running backs ran well today. Defensively, I really liked what the defensive ends did. Their pass rush was really good today."

One area that the Hurricane will have to decide on a starter for the season opener at Iowa State on September 1 will be at the middle linebacker position with junior Donnell Hawkins and red-shirt freshman Trent Martin competing for the starting spot left vacant by the graduation last year of Curnelius Arnick.

"I haven't seen the film yet, but both Donnell and Trent looked pretty good on the field. I'm anxious to watch the film and see if they were doing the right things, but they were very active in making plays.," said Blankenship.

The Hurricane will be back on the practice field Sunday morning. The first day in full pads is scheduled for Tuesday.