NWADG College Football


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35 NWA COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW | 8.29.2021 www.NwafoodbaNk.org Square option We are thankful for the continued support we receive from Arkansas Razorback Athletics for our organization and for those we serve. HAVE A GREAT SEASON! New Larger Showroom! • Ceramic Tile • Porcelain Tile • Natural Stone Tile Call 479-751-4043 today to Schedule an Appointment! 479.751.4043 13241 Puppy Creek Rd Suite 6 I-49 @ Wagon Wheel Rd Exit 76 www.townzentile.com "We're all Arkansas. … We're big- time Arkansas. There's no other way to think of it. So, if we're going to be big- time Arkansas, let's hold everyone in this building and everyone in this program … to a certain standard." The longest-tenured Razorbacks on the team, the sixth-year seniors, are the last touchstones to a winning season. The 2016 team went 7-6, blowing a 24-0 halftime lead in the Belk Bowl in a 35-24 loss to Virginia Tech, the unofficial start to one of the longest struggles in the program's history. Now, a roster loaded with seniors is hoping to break out of that slump. "The work ethic on the team has definitely gone up with Coach Pittman," Clary said. "I think it's more than just work ethic. You can work hard and not do things right, but it's working hard the right way, from the weight room to the field." Said cornerback Hudson Clark, "We're definitely taking the right steps. He's brought in a lot of guys, a lot of coaches to push us in that right direction. I think just the work ethic, the scheme, everything about it, I think it's a really big step for us." The unity of the coaching staff is big for senior linebacker Bumper Pool. "Coach Pittman does a fantastic job of not only getting us prepared but getting our coaches exactly in line with what he wants," Pool said. "I think there's no conflict among our coaching staff. "We have a bunch of great coaches who mesh well, and ultimately, they have the same vision. I think that just comes from Coach Pittman being such a great person. They want to coach hard for him, and he wants to be a great head coach for all his assistant coaches. It kind of just trickles down throughout the whole team." Burks and Catalon noted the successful 2020-21 academic year, which resulted in eight SEC championships and an eighth-place finish nationally in the Learfield Cup, which encompasses all sports. "I was watching the basketball team and how they went from nothing to something so quickly, it just made me think, 'Why can't that be us?' " Burks said. "I would tell certain people in my receiver group and the O-linemen, 'That could be us. All we have to do is just put our head down and go to work and not worry about what the outside noise is saying.' Anything is possible." Catalon echoed Burks. "Why not us? It's not just for us, it's going to be something for the fans, the people that put all these investments into us," he said. "We've got to put on something for them to give back, so this year that's why I think we're so motivated. "We're trying to get back on the radar. Not everybody knows what Arkansas football is supposed to be like. I'm just excited for the season coming up with the boys, just trying to get everybody back on board with us. It's going to be an exciting year." Said Pittman: "I love the demeanor of the team. I like the new guys we brought in, the transfers and freshmen. I'm very proud of the new coaches we've brought in. I don't know if it's fairytale land in there, but it's pretty nice right now." NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe Sam Pittman coaches him team during the 2020 season, his first as the Razorbacks' head coach.

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