FAYETTEVILLE – With college sports coronavirus cancelled since mid March including the entirety of the Razorbacks’ scheduled 15 spring football practices, expect much to be read into the University of Arkansas’ football walkthroughs set to start July 24.
Not by the coaches, though. Hired since December as Arkansas’ head football coach, nobody is more ready to see the Razorbacks practice with a ball than Sam Pittman.
But Pittman knows no-contact, slow speed walkthroughs won’t be what alters the depth chart. It’s a for now depth chart based mainly on what he inherits other than graduate transfer former Florida Gators starting quarterback Feleipe Franks taking the first snap.
Mentally, though, it can provide an inkling into the still scheduled Aug. 7 start of preseason practices.
“Of course, in a walk-through, you’re not going to be able to determine if they can go hit and run and tackle and all of those things,” Pittman said. “But you are going to be able to see who’s retained the information from these meetings.”
They have much to retain learning a new offense, defense and special teams emphasis they still haven’t practiced.
As the coronavirus still surges, particularly in SEC territory, Pittman said he, Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek, and the training, strength and medical staffs plan various what-if contingency regarding preparing for a season that could be delayed or even cancelled.
For now, though, Pittman said all prepare like a full-season full-steam ahead.
“There hasn’t been one ounce of conversation between myself and our team about not having a season,” Pittman said.
Or on anything but utilizing the meeting times and conditioning times to the fullest.
“We’re not in the time-consuming business,” Pittman said. “We’re in the winning business. So we’re not trying to have our kids here just because the NCAA says we can have them here. If we’re going to have them here and have them in meetings, we need to be diversified enough in our meetings that we’re keeping their attention that we can go win football games.”