March 26, 2007

Progress evident in spring drills

In the spring of 2006, Tulsa was coming off of a Conference USA title, its first such decoration since the Missouri Valley Conference days. Steve Craver was coming off of a truncated year in 2005 which featured a stunning performance against Oklahoma in Norman and a shoulder injury that earned him a medical redshirt.

Randy Duncan and Ty Page were coming off one year respites to get affairs in order. Spring 2006 was a time of anticipation on the part of all three players as well as fans.

In the 2006 season, Craver appeared in eleven games, recording 36 tackles from the safety position. Duncan and Page got in to nine and eight games respectively, mostly on special teams. The playing time of all three was limited by the presence of Bobby Blackshire, Kedrick Alexander and Anthony Germany.

Spring 2007 finds Craver and Duncan looking to become mainstays in the defense of Paul Randolph and Keith Patterson. Page is the focus of an experimental move to offense to best take advantage of his athleticism.

On Saturday morning, those three and 71 teammates put on a show for assembled fans and rising high school seniors at Skelly Stadium. Coach Graham addressed the visiting high-schoolers and their families before practice started. Although the exact number of visitors was difficult to estimate, it's safe to say there were more from Arkansas than in recent years.

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