Hogs Start Early in the Morning

The activity starts early in Walker Pavilion this time of the year ... before the sun comes up. Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is putting his football team through some intense pre-dawn workouts to prepare for spring drills. HI.com Publisher Clay Henry witnessed Thursday's early workout.

I did the unthinkable this Thursday morning ... got up at 5:15 a.m. to go to Walker Pavilion to watch the Razorback football team go through an early workout. I arrived at 5:45 a.m. as the team was getting there. It's amazing to see that many cars swing into the parking lot at the same time. All players, coaches, trainers and other assorted staff associated with the football program were assembled by 5:47 a.m., to begin a 15-minute run at 5:50 a.m., the actual start to the workout.

It was mainly a stretching run (but more running than I'd ever want to do as a stretch) after a heavy, heavy weight lifting afternoon on Wednesday.

"Today, we did a lot of straight-line running," said Don Decker, UA strength and conditioning coach. "This was a light day because we had worked our legs so hard yesterday in the weight room. That was a heavy lifting day for the legs, so you don't do as much just a few hours later the next morning."

They are doing three 5:50 a.m. conditioning workouts a week. That's one more than the last few years.

"Two of those are really heavy with a lot of agility and football movement drills," Decker said. "Then, we have one lighter workout that doesn't have the (change of direction) drills. Right after lifting your legs that hard, you can't do the (change of direction drills) the next morning. But, we want to run them with a lot of 100s, 80s, 60s, 40s and some other distance runs to stretch out those leg muscles we'd worked so hard."

The only players I didn't see this morning were some track guys. Batman Carroll, Eddie Jackson, Richard Smith and Cedric Cobbs are with track this winter and weren't out there today. Dedrick Poole came late this morning after staying up most of the night after learning that his grandfather had passed away.

This workout finished at about 6:45 a.m., but the two heavier drills go well past 7 a.m.

It appeared most players were healthy, although some weren't doing all drills. Bo Mosley has a minor knee ailment that is holding him back. Shawn Andrews has a minor back strain. Matt Jones appeared to be full speed and fit.

I visited with wide receiver George Wilson about the afternoon pass skeleton drills.

"So far, it's been on our own," Wilson said. "We haven't added anything (from the new quarterback coach). We are just throwing the ball around and having some fun. I'm sure there will be some new things soon. But, it's just something we are doing to stay familiar with the football."

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