NSS Home > Arkansas Razorbacks > Hog Football Players Return

Are you ready for some college football?  Today, June 8th, is the day that players report on campus for voluntary workouts with coaches.  However, the on-field coaches will be limited in their interaction and must rely on the strength and conditioning staff for information on the players.  One of the best overall characteristics for Head Hog Sam Pittman is his genuine nature.  He is such a strong recruiter, not just because he outworks people, but the way he works with people.  Many recruiters work day and night in recruiting and never get anywhere.  Pittman is at Arkansas because of the relationships he was able to build, and that has been lacking at Arkansas, basically since he left for Georgia.

“It’s incredible.  I mean, that’s my whole life.  I mean, that’s who I am.”  Pittman said.  “I’m a coach.  It’s hard to coach when there is nobody to coach, so I mean we’re all excited about them. We love our team.  We love the guys on our team.  We want them back, and we can’t wait for that to happen — and we’re adamant about it.  That’s our whole life, and we need these kids back and hopefully they need us, but we are certainly excited to get them back.”

Arkansas has a game plan going into this, something that will be altered once more of the unknown becomes known.  If he could, Pittman would probably move his office next to the weight room entrance so he could see his players as they come and go, per Trey Biddy in an article posted Sunday.  On-field coaches can talk with players, but they are really limited when it comes to anything football, leading up to workouts on campus. “I’d be lying to you if (I said) I knew how much interaction we’re going to get to have with them,” Pittman said.  “You still have issues getting in the building.  The bottom line is that entrance is not over here by my door, and we’re not able to go into the weight room, so we’re going to have to have a lot of feedback from our strength coaches and all of that.”  

The players should be able to find some time to get together without coaches and hold mini practices or throwing sessions if they want.  This is truly going to be a personal test for all players all over college football.  Do they really need their coaches right there with them to get in shape and get the knowledge they need?  This season is going to be a true test for all coaches and players in college football.

Credit: Razorback Football Twitter
Credit: Razorback Football Twitter

The NCAA may choose to allow college football programs to hold some form or organized team activities (OTAs) starting in mid-July and leading into the start of fall came the fist week of August as a way to make up for lack of spring drills due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

In the NFL, teams hold practices for 10 days, but they are mighty lighter.  There is no live contact and it is more structured for pass with coaches present and even some 11-on-11.  College teams are usually in the middle of their summer training cycle with voluntary workouts, but even those have been delayed as the majority of SEC school won’t return until June 8th, today.  

“When all of this started happening, I got on the phone with the NFL folks because my feeling was– because of spring ball and all of those things– I felt like we needed an OTA situation where we could at least go out,” Hogs head coach Sam Pittman rain.  “You talk about injuries, a big part of injuries is not knowing what you’re doing, going the wrong direction, not fitting the right gaps.  There’s conditioning, there’s strength, then there’s knowing what you’re doing.”

The players should be able to find some time to get together without coaches and hold their own mini practices or throwing sessions.  This will give the team and players time to get some chemistry and knowledge of each other which could prove huge when the team get together as one.  There have been many different ways to look at fall practices and the day that all athletes can report for “voluntary” workouts, which this year seems to not be taken as voluntary.  Expect to see 100% of Razorbacks and most all of college football campus’s to have all student athletes show up to campus ready to get to work.  With the offseason or spring/summer basically becoming nonexistent this year, the fall camps and voluntary workouts are going to be big and will show a lot to coaches on where they really stand going into the 2020-21 season.  Football is officially back in the state of Arkansas.  It is almost time to Stand and Call those HOGS!

Justin Garrison
Football Sports Writer for Natural State Sports Co-Host of Thursday night live show "The Sports Junkies" along side Steve Hinson