Arkansas Media Day Notebook: Sam Pittman on Injury, COVID, Vaccinations and More | KLRT
FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas hosted their media day Thursday with Sam Pittman, wide receiver Treylon Burks and safety Jalen Catalon all participating.
Here are some of the topics discussed during Media Day.
Stability in year 2
Going into his sophomore year was different for Pittman after COVID eliminated spring training last year and hampered much of summer drills. He was asked where was the program from the second year?
“Sure, the first part is we’re in a lot better shape,” Pittman said. “We had a much better offseason because we had more time. I think we are in better shape. I think because of the meetings that we were able to have and the continuity with the return of our three coordinators, I think that all of these things are going to be beneficial to us. But we feel a lot better in our football team. We know them better and they know us better is probably just as important, one or the other. Feel good about it.
Pittman is a positive trainer and found a silver lining in all of the COVID ramifications that hampered preparation last spring.
“To answer the first part, there was all of that, but I was the head coach of the University of Arkansas,” Pittman said. “So it was totally worth it. This year which begins, it is obviously the unknowns of COVID. It wears you down a bit. Not a lot. We are very well prepared. Our staff are very well prepared. I love what we do during our 25 days.
“We sort of lived in the unpadded steps last year. So the ‘spider days’, the seven spiders. We think we can get a lot of work done in Spider. I’m really not too concerned with a whole lot of things except that we have to find positions. It might not just be the full starter.
Pittman also likes the team’s state of mind heading into this sophomore year.
“I love them,” Pittman said. “I like the team. I think they are hungry. We are a flea on the shoulder, tough, proud. We love the state of Arkansas. It’s not to recruit, it’s just the truth. I think it’s a confident group. You need to do something to continue to stay confident. You have to be successful in any way.
“I’ve said it before, I thought going to halftime against Georgia last year, even though we didn’t win the game, boosted confidence in this program. Hey, we can do it. Ultimately, if you put two halves together, what can happen? I like the behavior of the team. I love the new guys we brought in, the transfers and the freshmen. I am very proud of the new coaches we have recruited. I don’t know if it’s a fairytale country in there, but it’s pretty cool right now.
Jonesboro first-year linebacker Marco Avant is the only player who won’t be available early due to injury.
“Marco Avant has had an operation and his foot is not ready,” Pittman said. “He would be the only young man I was talking about as he won’t be quite ready to start the season.”
The Razorbacks are among the SEC’s most successful teams with players getting COVID shots.
I’m proud of our team, ”said Pittman. “You get all the remarks that you can’t play football because, well, you can’t really comment on something that you don’t know the facts about. We are 90% in our football team, we are over 93% in our building. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it because it was their choice and that’s how they chose because they want to play. Last year our team tweeted: “We want to play”. We have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated. There’s not much we can do about it other than masking and the six feet – there’s a lot we could do about it. I didn’t mean to say that, but we didn’t have the vaccine. I am very proud of our team. They want to play football and they didn’t have to. It was their choice, but I’m proud of our staff. It’s happening in the NFL right now and hopefully there will be a day soon when we don’t have to talk about the vaccine because we’ve figured out a way to figure it out, but it’s definitely not the case today because I look here at all these masks.