After spending two years as a standout performer for Butler County Community College and the summer finishing classes at Arkansas Baptist to meet eligibility requirements, Crim finally went through his first workout as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
"The tempo is a lot faster than I thought it was," said Crim, who worked out at Little Rock's Arkansas Performance Center this summer before arriving in Fayetteville in late July. "I knew it would be fast but I didn't know how fast it would be. It's something that makes you go harder. Once I catch on to the tempo of things I feel like I'll be able to play up to my abilities. It was pretty different but it's something I'll figure out.
"It was everything I dreamed of. Coaches like that really push you for effort. I don't think I could find a better place than here that strives for effort so it's really a good fit for me.
Crim (6-0, 190) played safety for the two-time defending JUCO national champions but found himself starting out at cornerback for the Razorbacks.
"It really didn't matter. I just wanted to come in and do whatever is best for the team," Crim said of the position switch. "I'd love to play safety but I can play corner and I can also play nickel. Nickel is like a slash between safety and corner, but like I said I just want to do whatever is best for the team."
Crim is one of a talented crop of newcomers brought into the Arkansas secondary, a list that includes junior college transfer safety Anthony Leon and true freshmen cornerbacks David Gordon and Darius Winston – Arkansas' only five-star signee in the 2009 class.
"I was very impressed to be honest. Those guys came out and fought," Crim said. "This was Darius' first college camp. Most high school kids that come into their first college camp can't make it through the first practice.
"Leon was what I expected him to be. He's a great athlete with great size and very humble. I'm happy with what I saw out of those two guys."
Arkansas' newcomers worked for an hour before the varsity players entered the practice field. The secondary worked exclusively with defensive coordinator Willy Robinson in getting acclimated to drills.
"Our idea here is for the first couple of days to bring the freshmen out early and then we do the individual drills with the vets so they get introduced to it," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "Then when we start practice they won't be so far behind. Then the next three days we'll bring everyone out at the same time and keep the freshmen and newcomers out after to work on some individual stuff and some group stuff.
"I like it and I think it works well."
The coach hopes it works well enough to make up for Arkansas' inadequacies in the secondary a year ago. The Razorbacks gave up 204.4 passing yards per game and ranked last in the SEC in total defense and scoring defense.
"It was a struggle last year," Crim said. "Secondary is one of the hardest positions on the field – not to take anything away from other positions. Sometimes we need to make big plays. I feel like the guys we brought in can do that.
"I feel like we'll get better and better every day. I'm ready for the season to get here so we can write some new chapters."
Green enjoys first day
Another player looking to write some new chapters is running back Broderick Green. The Little Rock-native and transfer from USC found out last week he would be eligible immediately after transferring to be closer to his ailing grandmother.
"It was right after class and I came down to the office when they announced it and I was excited from then on," said Green, who rushed for 268 yards and three touchdowns last season in a loaded backfield at USC. "Just to know that I have that off my back feels great."
Per NCAA guidelines, Green (6-2, 248) would have had to sit out the 2009 season without the special exemption. He said regardless of the NCAA's decision he would have approached the first day of practice the same way.
"I try to compete and do the exact same thing as if I weren't going to play," Green said.
"Coach says nobody has a starting job so we're all working and all being competitive because they're the ones that control our jobs."