There was evidence of all of that Tuesday afternoon when the Razorbacks allowed the media a three-hour glimpse of the offseason strength and conditioning program. Veltkamp is the head strength and conditioning coach for football coach Bobby Petrino's program.
There was no bad news from that look-in. The players who sat out spring drills with injuries are ahead of schedule and could play if the season started today.
Wide receiver Greg Childs wasn't visible, but Veltkamp said the senior star worked early because of lab classes. Veltkamp and quarterback Tyler Wilson gave thumbs up on the way Childs looks this summer.
There was plenty to see, though. Media got to watch linemen Brey Cook, Luke Charpentier, Colton Miles-Nash, Robert Thomas, Dede Jones along with quarterback Tyler Wilson in the weight room. There was running in Walker Pavilion, then some truck pushing on the practice field.
The truck push matched different groups, like O-line vs. D-line. Then, later, the defensive backs went against the wideouts. Veltkamp had two brand new Avalanche trucks for groups of four players pushing in 30-yard races.
"They were on to me because we tried to keep them even by using the brakes," Veltkamp said. "But I told them we just wanted to make them grind. Maybe one truck did have a little more braking action than the other. It was to make a point."
"We've learned that in a couple of games the last couple of years," Veltkamp said. "Things happened that weren't real fair. You have to play through that and overcome. So that was the message with the brakes."
Veltkamp sounded excited about the progress the team has made in the fourth season under his guidance in Walker Pavilion. He said he sees big gains in all areas, especially in some young and not-so-young receivers. But it was clear that some of the newcomers have wowed him. He raved about defensive tackle Robert Thomas.
"He needed to learn some new techniques in our weight room and in his running form," Veltkamp said of Thomas. "But he is just so strong. His core strength is really amazing. And you see his quickness in a lot of areas, including with his hands."
It was clear Veltkamp expects Thomas to be a special player this fall.
"You see a lot of things that indicate his ability," he said. "He is just so explosive."
The young receivers who played in bit roles last season have made significant gains in the weight room. And the star from last year's victory over LSU has wowed Veltkamp.
Cobi Hamilton has rolled up his sleeves in the weight room for perhaps the first time and has asked for second helpings of Veltkamp's knowledge.
"Cobi has been a two-sport athlete and he's been in the weight room, but not like he has this summer," Veltkamp said. "He's come in for extra work. He's called on the phone for extra days. He's called and asked, 'What can I do to get my first three steps faster.' He has really had a good summer. I've been impressed with what he's done."
Maudrecus Humphrey earned Veltkamp's praise, too. "He's gained weight and become stronger and faster," Veltkamp said. "You see his gains in weight."
Veltkamp picks out highlights each week and those players get to break off a chunk of a huge rock in the southwest corner of the stadium. One of those taking a few swings with the sledgehammer was juco transfer Alonzo Highsmith.
"We don't usually pick out guys who have been here just a short time to break the rock," Veltkamp said. "He's been here since the middle of May and he's made some big gains in his weight, maybe 12 pounds. So he got to break the rock today."
Veltkamp backed off a little on the running Tuesday because of the extreme heat. It was 99 degrees in the shade, much hotter on the artificial surface in the stadium.
"We haven't had much heat until the last week," he said. "We had a big run on the field planned. But we decided not to do that just yet. Our job is to get them ready to play, but it's also to get them to the games. We want to be smart in how we do it."
Veltkamp said there are no real issues with players rehabbing.
"I think we are real good with all of that," he said. "I think our list (of players on the rehab list) is real short right now. So that's been good news."
Wilson was one of the handful of players who met with the media. He said Childs has been working in the passing drills after the conditioning workouts "for the last two or three weeks. He looks real good. He's right where we neede him now. You can still see a few things with him coming in and out of the breaks, but he looks really good. He's going to be fine when it's time to play."
Wilson said he was ready for the heat this week. He spent last week at the Manning Passing Camp in Louisiana where the humidity and heat combined for rougher conditions.
"This actually felt pretty good," he said. "Really, we don't do too much outside anyway. Most of what we've been doing has been in Walker. So we don't get outside too much."
Knile Davis didn't mind the heat, either. He hails from near Houston, Texas.
"I am telling you, this is nothing compared to home," Davis said. "I'll tell you how bad it is down in Houston, my mother doesn't go outside until after 7 at night. It's just too hot. I can handle this fine."
Davis said there is less of him to fight the hot conditions. He's lost weight since spring drills when he tried to carry 230 pounds. He's back to near the weight he played at last fall.
"I'm 226 now and that's where I'm going to try to stay," he said. "I feel a little quicker at this weight. I didn't really try to take it off. It just happened and we decided to stay at this number. I think it's about right for me now."
Knile Davis works through some agility drills.
Tyler Wilson does a core workout.
Jason Veltkamp spots Brey Cook during pull ups.
Ronnie Wingo prepares for a cut.
Jason Veltkamp checks Brey Cook on a lift.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated