FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino and the Razorback football team held its 2011 media day Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Coach Petrino, entering his fourth season leading the Razorbacks, fielded questions from local, regional and national media inside the Broyles Center adjacent to the stadium. UA football players were on hand for the many interviews and photo opportunities that precede a new season of Razorback football.
Coach Petrino expressed his excitement to begin another season of football and was complimentary of the dedication shown by the Razorback football players in the offseason.
"After the first couple of practices, I’m very encouraged by where we’re at as a football team," Coach Petrino said. "I think first and foremost you really see what Coach (Jason) Veltkamp and his strength staff accomplished throughout the summer. Our players are big and strong and faster than we’ve ever been and very, very well conditioned. I’m proud of our strength staff and how much work our players did throughout the summer. I can see everyone’s in great condition."
Arkansas’ highly touted wide receivers unit is a hard-working group, according to Coach Petrino. The Razorback leader made note of the strong work ethics exhibited by Joe Adams, Greg Childs, Cobi Hamilton and Jarius Wright.
"They are a good group of receivers," Coach Petrino said. "They’ve shown it for three years now and they are very productive. The thing that they have to do is approach practice every day as they are coming out to get better in practice and they all need to improve for the first game."
An action-packed day for many of the UA football players, the annual media day also allows media the opportunity to meet the many new faces on the Razorback team. Coach Petrino has liked what he’s seen from the newcomers so far on the practice field.
"After a couple practices, I’m impressed with our recruiting class," Coach Petrino said. "It’s exciting to me to see those types of recruits that we have, particularly on the defensive front, the size and athleticism we have there. I think they’re doing a good job."
Arkansas’ newcomers will learn from the Razorbacks’ seasoned veterans throughout August in preparation for UA’s season-opening contest against Missouri State inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sept. 3. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start on pay-per-view.
Razorback football practices continue Saturday on the intramural fields next to the Dills Indoor Tennis Courts with the veterans starting at 3 p.m. and the newcomers beginning at 6:30 p.m. Practices will remain open to the public through Aug. 20, excluding Aug. 14 and Aug. 18. The team is scheduled to practice on the intramural fields from Aug. 4-17.