With a version of boot camp behind him, North Little Rock tailback and Arkansas commit Juan Day is ready to put the hammer down.
Day (6-1, 210) and his fellow Charging Wildcat seniors have spent two nights this preseason at the U.S National Guard's Camp Robinson.
It was complete with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call – one delivered by an air grenade thrown into the barracks.
"That was crazy," Day said. "It was loud and the guys that didn't move quick enough were getting shot with a air gun. People started moving quickly then."
Day and his teammates – who have been practicing at 6 a.m. - were put through a lot of the basic training exercises that the Guard goes through.
"The drill sergeants were making us run, we did some rappelling and then they made us like secure a house," Day said. "It was all about bonding as a team and it did that."
The boot camp was held in connection with a team camp that also had the Pine Bluff and Stuttgart squads.
"As far the football camp, I think we dominated that," noted Day, whose Charging Wildcats are considered to be one of top teams in the state this season.
Day is ready to take center stage this season after sharing carries with Alabama signee Altee Tenpenny.
He still rushed for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns while splitting time with Tenpenny.
"It may not seem like a lot to some people, but I am really excited about starting my first game and being the guy for my team," Day said. "I have grown as a player and a person and am ready for my new role.
"I am also being more vocal this season," Day added.
North Little Rock head coach Brad Bolding echoed that sentiment in a tweet this past weekend.
"The last 2 weeks of camp, Razorback commit Juan Day has been night and day better than last year," Bolding tweeted.
Day said he and Tenpenny have similarities and some differences in their running styles.
"I think he may have more speed and better moves in the open field, but I think I am more powerful and have better vision," Day said. "But both of us can either run over you or run away from you."
Day knows that some have expressed concern with him not running lower than a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.
"I'm not a track guy and just don't come out of the blocks right so I lose about two or three-tenths of a second," Day said. "I could get it down if I spent more time working on my technique.
"But I want to work on football things, not track things," Day added. "Plus if I have my pads on and get in the open field, you are not going to catch me."
North Little Rock and Conway – which features junior offensive lineman and fellow Razorback pledge Colton Jackson (6-6, 290) – will meet in a scrimmage next Tuesday in Conway.
The Charging Wildcats open their season by hosting Lake Hamilton on Sept. 6, hosting Mississippi power South Panola in week two and then traveling to Pine Bluff in week three.
"We are working hard and want to be ready for next week and especially for our first regular season game," Day said. "We have a goal of winning it all this season and we think we have the team to do it."
Day is also very excited about seeing his future college team play this season.
"My parents and my family are going to go to as many games as we can," Day said. "We are all really excited about this new coaching staff and I can't wait to play for them.
"I got a chance to be around them at camp this summer and I just think they are great guys and great coaches," Day added. "I made the right choice and nothing is going to keep me from being a Razorback."
Juan Day shows off North Little Rock's new uniforms.
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