Spring football practice gets underway Monday at the University of Arkansas and it's one of the more looked forward to events of its kind in recent memory.
Count Razorback head coach Houston Nutt among those raring to go with a time in which his squad will get in 15 workouts between Monday and a spring game on April 15 at 1 p.m.
The first two practices on Monday and Tuesday will be open to the public and the media.
"I'm very excited about it," Nutt said. "It is always a good time and I am really looking forward to getting a lot out of each and every practice."
Although Arkansas is coming off a 4-7 campaign for its second consecutive losing season, the fact that Razorbacks return 19 starters - and have added one mid-term junior college standout and a solid batch of recruits - has fans excited.
No doubt closing the season with two wins in its final three games and the loss being a challenge to LSU in Baton Rouge has his team believing it itself.
"I think it helps a bunch because any time you win, it's big for the confidence and it's hard to duplicate that feeling," Nutt said. "There is a hunger there and they are going to feed off that."
The Razorbacks have been working on their conditioning early in the morning since mid-January and Nutt says he has noticed the energy of his team.
"I can't enough about our kids and our coaches and how much hard work they have put in this offseason," Nutt said. "I can see the fire in everybody's eyes to get better and I just think the future is going to hold a lot of success for us."
Part of the interest in spring practice is no doubt because of a promise of what new offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and new quarterback coach and former NFL offensive coordinator Alex Wood bring to the table as well as a second year under defensive coordinator Reggie Herring.
"I think there are two things that will really want to get accomplished this year," Nutt said. "One is for our defense just to take over right where they left off and keep that going with Coach Herring's schemes and also to keep improving on offense, keeping the same physical nature that we had, but now implementing some passing that Alex Wood and Gus are going to bring in. We are going to work hard on that."
Nutt said he senses the enthusiasm from the fans.
"There is a lot, a lot of excitement right now and a lot of enthusiasm," Nutt said. "We really appreciate the people who have come out to the Razorback Club meeting. Seems like we have to put an extra table or two each time we go out. That makes you feel great and you want to reward them for that."
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