Froholdt's Dream About To Be Realized

Denmark native and Arkansas true freshman nose guard Hjalte Froholdt (6-5, 290) is getting more excited by the day as the Razorbacks get closer to opening the 2015 season.

From about the time he was 12 years old, Arkansas freshman nose guard Hjalte Froholdt has dreamed of taking the field to play in a college football game.

Froholdt’s dream was a little far-fetched back in the day seeing as how American football isn’t really a big deal in his home country of Denmark.

“It is on the rise for sure,” Froholdt said. “It is not as big right now because a lot of people just think of it as the sport with the weird ball.

“But we have a national team, both youth 17, 19 and senior level. There are a lot of people playing now and also a lot of people want to come over to American and try the American Dream.

“I started when I was 12 years old. It was a really small team, but it was football and it was fun. I never really played football because I had to, I just loved the game.”

Froholdt (6-5, 290), who arrived in Arkansas in January as a mid-term enrollee and went through spring practice, is now just weeks away from the realization of that dream.

He took another step on Tuesday as the Razorbacks went through their first full-pad practice of preseason camp.

“It is really surreal,” Froholdt said. “It has always been a dream and it is weird that I am here now. I have been thinking about it for years now with the fact that I am going to college being the emphasis.

“Now it is why I am here. I look back in spring and there was still eight months before the first game started and now here we are. Time flies by.”

< Froholdt leaped onto the national recruiting radar when he arrived as a foreign exchange student at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio.

“I just wanted to have fun playing football and didn't think of college at that point,” Froholdt said. “I just wanted to play JV at that point.”

Instead he was natural at the game and was in ESPN.com’s Top 25 sophomores by the end of the season with then Arkansas assistant Taver Johnson learning about him.

He would have to return to Denmark for his junior season, but after committing to Arkansas, he returned to play his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

“I was lucky to go to a really good school when I was an exchange student. Afterwards I had to go back to Denmark (for year ) because I didn't have the opportunity to go back to Warren G. Harding in Ohio.

“Then the opportunity to go to IMG, which was just amazing. I am really happy.”

Froholdt, a four-star prospect per Scout.com, chose Arkansas over Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and many others.

“I just knew this was the place for me and I have loved it since I arrived,” Froholdt said.

He developed a love of football by playing and watching NFL games although the time difference kept him from watching as much as he would have liked.

“I got to watch like one a week because of the six- or seven-hour time difference,” Froholdt said. “When a 12 o’clock game is on, it is like 7 p.m. in Denmark. I got stay up for the other ones because they were like done at 2 a.m. on Sunday. If you had school the next day it was kind of hard.”

He notes that not being good at other sports and having a good coach helped push him forward.

“I guess it was because I really wasn’t very good at any other sport,” Froholdt said. “Soccer was not really me. I had a great coach back for my first Club team and he really made the game fun.

“It was not all about running around and getting in condition. That was a part of it, but he always made sure that you should remember the fun part of catching touchdowns and running and all the really good edges to it.”

Froholdt went through spring practice as a defensive tackle, but has been moved to nose guard in preseason camp and is splitting snaps with DeMarcus Hodge on the first team defense.

“I played nose guard the first week of spring and finally got it down,” Froholdt said. “It's a little harder now since you are the first person who has contact with the offense from the snap of the ball but Hodge and the coaches have helped me a lot.

“My technique was a little off at the start of camp, but I widen my base out and got my hands quicker. We talk a lot about how it is and you can see it on film all the time. Hodge has definitely helped me a lot.”

His teammates have been given him grief about a Danish TV station coming to Arkansas to do a story on him last weekend.

“Yeah, they have, calling me the superstar from Denmark like I am a legend or something,” Froholdt said. “ They are just messing around.

“They were just here a couple of days. I was really happy they had the opportunity and Arkansas and Coach B gave them the opportunity to come in here. It means a lot. We have a couple in college now. One guy at UConn. We have had only one in the NFL ever, a kicker so it's a really big deal.”

“They only filmed a practice and I had an interview with them and that’s all we really had time for,” Froholdt said. “With camp we are always meeting and practicing so we didn’t have much time to really show them around like a day in the life of or whatever.”

He has made a big push according to defensive line coach Rory Segrest.

“(It’s) my attention to detail,” Froholdt said. “I really talked a lot with Coach Segrest and I was able to watch film four hours a day. Being able to watch everything helped me get my hands in the right spot.

Froholdt believes being able to go through spring practice was a very beneficial development for him.

“I think it was very important,” Froholdt said. “It really helped me a lot. Coming into camp I felt a lot more comfortable with the technique and not everything feeling so foreign. It is more like basic now and you just have to repeat it. It is not all new. I have been there before.”

It also allowed him to get a lot of knowledge of the level of football and how Segrest was going to coach him.

“It was tough and certainly because Coach Segrest has a different kind of philosophy to playing defensive line so I had to adjust to that,” Froholdt said. “So all the older guys have really helped me a lot.

“It is just more bringing your hands first instead of moving your feet. On tape, he slows it down every single time that you move your feet before you move your hands. He tells you and so on and so forth. It’s different, but I think I have the hang of it now.”





Hjalte Froholdt


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