Hedlund Getting A Kick Out Of Preseason Camp

Arkansas kicker Cole Hedlund set the nation's high school career field goal mark in high school and is anxious to get his first college boot off the ground after redshirting in 2014.

It's likely most of Arkansas' football fans expected for Cole Hedlund to be the Razorbacks' kicker last season seeing as how he was a USA Today and Parade All-American and the national record holder for most field goals in a high school career.

But that never materilized and instead Hedlund found himself redshirting to get both physically and mentally ready to play college football and for Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.

"It took me a little time to just kind of realize the benefit (of redshirting), but my older brother - who was a kicker at Wake Forest and now is at SMU - just told me and I kind of took his words to heart that it is a good building year to get ready for the next season."

That's exactly what Hedlund did and he finds himself in a competition with Lane Sailing and Adam McFain for that spot this season.

 "Being the starter would be great," Hedlund said. " Being the starter for the University of Arkansas and representing the program would be awesome and a great honor.

"The battle is going really good. I don't think Coach B will let us know until probably the first week going into the season."

Hedlund had a national record 25 field goals his sophomore season and ended his career with 56, which was also a national record.

He also made 151 straight PATs, including a perfect 101-of-101 as a junior.

"After all that success, it was difficult to not be the kicker right away, but I knew there was work I needed to do so that's what I did and kept my head up," Hedlund said.

Not only did he spend a lot of time working on his kicks, but got in the weight room with Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.

"It benefitted me a lot working out with Herb and his program," Hedlund said. "That has definitely been great. I think just working on flexibility because that is the most important thing for a kicker, but also power.

"I would also say probably consistency and the height of my ball. Not dramatic, but just little things I can do to make it go a little higher."

McFain was 7-of-10 on field goals and 20-of-20 on PATs last season after taking over for John Henson during the middle of the season.

He has been slowed by an injury suffered while playing frisbee golf, which is now off limits to the Razorbacks.

"It has been really good," Hedlund said of the competition. "I know he has been going through an injury and stuff like that, but I think he is just tyrying to get back. I am just trying to compete and do the best I can."

Cole Hedlund

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