Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009 Schedule

April 18 Red-White Spring Game TBA
Sept. 5 ^Missouri State (4-7) Little Rock TBA
Sept. 19 Georgia* (10-3) TBA
Sept. 26 at Alabama* (12-2) TBA
Oct. 03 **Texas A&M (4-8) TBA
Oct. 10 Auburn* (5-7) TBA
Oct. 17 at Florida* (13-1) TBA
Oct. 24 at Ole Miss* (9-4) TBA
Oct. 31 ***Eastern Michigan (3-9) TBA
Nov. 07 South Carolina* (7-6) TBA
Nov. 14 Troy (8-5) TBA
Nov. 21 ^Mississippi State* (4-8) TBA
Nov. 28 at LSU* (8-5) TBA

*Southeastern Conference game
**At Arlington, Texas, Dallas Cowboys Stadium
^At Little Rock, War Memorial Stadium

Gun Club - Off Season Work Outs

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Hogs Hit The Weight Room To Get Bigger, Faster

By Alex Abrams
The Morning News
FAYETTEVILLE -- Several Arkansas football players wanted to do something to stay motivated during what was sure to be another grueling offseason workout program.

So one of the players stood on a box he had dragged across Arkansas’ weight room and made changes to the team’s 2008 schedule, which had been on display for everyone to see.

He removed the names of all five schools that lost to the Razorbacks last season, but he didn’t mess with the seven teams that beat them. He left those names on the wall as motivation.

“So that’s what we looked at for two weeks,” Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp said late last week.

Fueled by the disappointment of a 5-7 season, Arkansas’ players have spent the past three months trying to meet coach Bobby Petrino’s vision for a team filled with bigger, stronger and faster playmakers.

A year ago, the Razorbacks had a difficult time keeping up with the fast pace that Veltkamp demanded during offseason workouts. And players weren’t quite sure what to make of his intense, military-like approach to getting into shape.

But Veltkamp said there has been a noticeable change in the weight room this winter, helping some players bulk up considerably since Arkansas’ offseason workout program began in late November.

Arkansas defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard has put on around 16 pounds. Defensive end Damario Ambrose is up 20 pounds. And Veltkamp said the Razorbacks’ once-undersized defensive linemen are on average 15 pounds bigger than they were only a few months ago.

“We’re able to progress a lot farther than we were last year,” said Veltkamp, who’s in his second year overseeing Arkansas’ strength and conditioning program. “Last year our kids were in survival mode. They were just trying to get through what we were throwing at them.

“And now they’re driving through what we’re giving them and they’re making gains from it. And they’re asking for more.”

Along with making players train four days a week, Veltkamp started a Saturday morning workout for those individuals who wanted to do some extra lifting for their arms. Those workouts have a special nickname — “Gun Club.”

Arkansas’ linebackers have become regulars at Gun Club, and as a result, they’ll look noticeably larger when the Hogs open spring practice next month.

Veltkamp said sophomore Jerry Franklin has gained 10-12 pounds. Redshirt freshman Tenarius Wright is up 13 pounds, and junior Freddy Burton had added 15 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.

“We’re going to look like SEC linebackers this year,” Veltkamp said in his usual gruff voice.

Veltkamp is a fan of using unconventional training methods to help players bulk up and at the same time build team chemistry. So he decided to bring back his grueling boot camp drills known as Full Metal Fridays.

Instead of making players carry 100-pound rocks and scale a jagged stone wall like a year ago, Veltkamp came up with a single-elimination tournament to see which player could pull a 550-pound sled the fastest.

But there was a catch: There was only a losers’ bracket. The winners were eliminated from the tournament, and the losers advanced to the next round and had to pull the heavy sleds again.

“We still did the Full Metal Fridays. This year they were much more competitive in nature,” Veltkamp said. “Last year ‘One For All’ was the theme a lot. This year it was ‘Compete.’”

The focus of Arkansas’ offseason workout program has been for players to get bigger and faster. And while the defensive linemen have put on weight since November, Veltkamp said it hasn’t affected their speed.

In fact, they’ve gotten a bit faster, too.

“That’s key because we don’t want to be big and slugs,” Veltkamp said. “We want to be big and be flying around the football.”

Petrino's 2010 Target #1 Talks Top College Choices

Michael Dyer, the nation's top RB recruit, talks exclusively to KNWA about schools.

Arkansas's Sack Artist - Malcolm Sheppard

This guy will undoubtedly be a valuable player on the defensive line for the hogs this year. Last season he was second in the SEC for tackles for losses, and with another year of experience in the weight room and football field under his belt, look for number 96 to wreak havoc on QBs and RBs across the conference this year.

ESPN - SEC Early Spring Preview

ESPN has done an SEC team-by-team overview of what to look for going into Spring practices and the upcoming year. It's a pretty good read and allows you to learn a little bit more about Arkansas's opponents this year. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rounding Out the 2009 Class

Tomorrow is National Signing Day (NSD). The Razorback coaching staff will finalize their 2009 class tomorrow when more than 30 faxes from recruits arrive at the UofA tomorrow with the signature of official commitment to The University.

With nearly the entire class fully pledged to play next year, Razorback fans should not expect many surprises and they should be very proud of this class. The only expected surprises are a potential 2 or 3 new names that come through the fax wires. Who are these potential players?

It's difficult to say who might fall in this category, but reports are that they could be in the form of one or more defensive linemen and/or an athlete.

The two names mentioned most are Dequinta "DD" Jones, a Rivals 4 star DT from Bastrop,LA and Jessey Grandy, a Rivals 3 star athlete from Pine Bluff, AR.

Outside of these two, the names are pure speculation. It's also uncertain that the Razorback coaches have more than two positions available.

Secord is Out

Former Razorback QB commitment, Will Secord, has changed his commitment from Arkansas to Florida State following a visit over the weekend. While it certainly is a challenge to deal with a decommit this late in the game, Arkansas is not in dire need of his services. Rivals 5 star QB Ryan Mallet, Rivals 4 Star QB Tyler Wilson, and Rivals 3 star QB Jim Youngblood are already on campus and the hogs already have another QB committed in this class with 6'4" 45 40 Rivals 3 Star Brandon Mitchell.

This loss really could benefit the Razorbacks if they can use the slot to fill any voids that exist. Right now it looks like up to 3 new commits could come in the next 24 hours. They could include up to 2 defensive linemen and potentially another athlete.

The next 24 Hours should be very exciting as Petrino looks to build the greatest recruiting class in recent history.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Big John Henderson is a D HOG

College of the Sequoias Defensive Tackle, John Henderson, committed to Arkansas today. He helps fill a void on the defensive line, and with his experience at the Junior College level, he will likely contribute right away. Henderson, while 6'1" and 300lbs, comes with some quick feet and smooth moves. Henderson is rated as a 2 star player by, but he looks impressive on film. His commitment likely means Arkansas's chances with other DTs have decreased in recent days. Henderson may be the last DT to join this class, but Petrino and company are still chasing potential DTs and nothings over until signing day. If Henderson is the last DT, a door could still open for Jesse Grandy, a flashy player out of Pine Bluff. Grandy is 5'11" with 4.4 speed. He could play multiple positions at the college level.

Singing Day is Wednesday of this week. While the class is nearly full, it is all fluid and things could change quickly. I

Big John: