Petrino Waiting To Slow Down

FAYETTEVILLE — Bobby Petrino will likely get a few days in late June to relax and try to think about something other than football.

But for now, it's business as usual.

As soon as he was introduced as Arkansas' new coach on Dec. 11, Petrino began what has become a hectic five-month stretch that won't end for another few weeks.

He has gone from recruiting in January to preparing for his first spring practice with the Razorbacks in April. Along the way, he has hired a coaching staff, helped rewrite Arkansas' offensive playbook and spoken to nine Razorback Clubs around the state and in Dallas.

So when do things slow down enough for him and his assistants to get away?

"We can do that here in the end of June when we're done. We're still going hard now," Petrino said Wednesday during a news conference to wrap up spring practice. "We're working hard on recruiting. You've got the phone calls you get to make. It's still full speed ahead."

All college football coaches go through a busy stretch from the end of the season to the beginning of the summer. But Petrino was perhaps even more rushed because he had to get a recruiting class and a coaching staff put together not long after he arrived at Arkansas.

When he had that accomplished, it was time to prepare for his first spring with the Hogs. And since the Red-White spring game on April 26, Petrino has spoken to four Razorback Clubs while his assistants have been on the road recruiting.

"It's kind of a fun time," Petrino said. "You get spring ball over, and you get out and start recruiting on next year's class. (The assistants) are working hard at it."

Petrino admitted that there has been plenty of demands on his time since getting to Arkansas, but that should come as no surprise.

After all, fans around the state have been anxious to hear Petrino talk, especially since he replaced Houston Nutt, who was unpopular with a large segment of the fan base.

"Everywhere he has spoken has been filled to capacity. It really has been good," said Harold Horton, who handles Petrino's speaking schedule as a vice president for the Razorback Foundation. "He has been good. He has been very patient out there with the people he's met, signing autographs and taking pictures."

Petrino has a few more commitments to take care of over the next month before he'll get a chance to relax. He'll participate in three golf outings within the state, and he'll speak to his last Razorback Club on June 12 in Benton.

"It's been impressive the way it's worked," Petrino said of his busy speaking tour. "I am ready to take off and give it to (Arkansas basketball coach John) Pelphrey for awhile, though."

Petrino said he plans to take a few days off after hosting a pair of football camps in mid-June. The break will be well deserved and a long time coming.

"I'm going to sneak away a little bit," Petrino said. "But I'm not telling you where."

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