FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football staff met with media members Thursday prior to its annual golf scramble at Paradise Valley Golf & Athletic Club.
Head coach Bret Bielema held a brief press conference, and assistant coaches were on-hand for questions afterwards.
Coach Bielema described his players seeing the Fred W. Smith Football Center for the first time.
“Last weekend was very exciting. Friday night, one of the decisions that we had made was to kind of partner a couple camp dates with the culmination of locking our current players into the new facility. We had some great barbeque, which started it off, and then parlayed that into our first team meeting, where we could talk some things. Nothing x’s and o’s, just some general scheduling for them for the rest of the summer. But then to walk them into our facility. I had a couple of cameras catch the reaction of our players, and then I saw some of the guys tweet some videos of stuff. It was overwhelming.”
Coach Bielema spoke to his busy summer visiting Razorback Clubs on behalf of the Razorback Foundation.
“One of the great pieces of advice I got when I first got here was when (Razorback Foundation Executive Director) Sean Rochelle and I had a meeting, and he approached me about going to all of those different Razorback Clubs. It was 20-plus, and they were hoping to get me to half. I just said, ‘Well let’s do them all. Let’s captivate the state as best we can this first time, this first go-round.’ That’s a decision that, although…at the time got a little bit long, I’m so glad I did now because you touch so many people. That part has been unbelievable.”
Coach Bielema also previewed upcoming fall practice.
“The NCAA has a way that you ease into that first week with players and coaches, whether it be no pads the first two days, have half pads the third and fourth day, and have our first giddy-up with full pads on Friday. Saturday, we’ll actually have our first scrimmage at the exact game time as when we open up with Louisiana-Lafayette. The next Saturday we’ll do a game time that we’d open up with Samford in Little Rock. The third week we do the game time. Because we know the first three games, it will be a steady crescendo that way through.”
The Razorbacks begin practice Aug. 5 and kick off their season Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. in Fayetteville against Louisiana on FSN.
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