Arkansas' Jamichael Winston already looked the part of an SEC defensive end when he arrived on campus as a 6-5, 235-pounder, but now he is ready to play the part.
After a redshirt season in 2012, Winston – now 6-5, 255 - is running second-team this spring and primed to hit the field.
"It is fun going out and approaching every day just knowing that I am going to get to play this season for sure," Winston said. "We are all just pushing each other trying to get better every day. It is great competition out there."
Winston, who was a standout for Mobile (AL) Vigor, was a huge signing for Arkansas in 2012 when he chose the Razorbacks over South Carolina, Clemson, Mississippi State, Michigan State and others.
He was one of four defensive ends that signed in the class along with Deatrich Wise (6-6, 270), Brandon Lewis (6-5, 260) and Taiwan Johnson (6-3, 255).
All of those players redshirted last season in arguably the coaching staff's best decision of the campaign.
"The redshirting helped me," Winston said. "I have way more knowledge of the game and was able to get stronger in the weight room and was able to learn my keys and what I am supposed to be doing.
"I think it (redshirting) helped us all," Winston added. "We are like brothers. We get together and everybody goes over the plays and we do walk-throughs in the living room. We go out on the weekend together and have fun. If you need something I am there and they are for me."
The defensive ends are coached by new Razorback defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.
"It is going great," Winston said. "Coach Partridge has been around a long time and he has been teaching us some good things. It has just been going great."
He was part of a signing class that also included high school teammate Darius Philon (6-3, 284), who also had a chance to redshirt last year and is a second-team defensive tackle this spring.
"That is my roommate," Winston said. "We are right next door to each other so any time he needs something I got him. It will never stop. That is like my brother."
Both have muscled up even more since arriving in Fayetteville.
"It has been great, especially with Coach Herb coming in and the winter program that he brought in," Winston said. "It is the grind, that beastie-type workout style that is going good."
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