Sam Pittman thankful NCAA allowed extra practice time, praises leadership potential of freshman defender Andy Boykin
After losing all of spring camp due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sam Pittman will take all the extra practice time the NCAA is willing to give him.
If you missed the news this week from the NCAA, the organization is allowing all college programs two extra weeks to work with their players leading up to the season. During this extra two-week period, players won’t be in pads, that period will still be contained to four-week training camps per NCAA rules, but teams will be permitted to use footballs for the first time before training camp.
In an interview with Pig Trail Nation, Pittman provided an overview of how Arkansas will manage the two extra weeks of practice handed out by the NCAA this week.
“We’ll end up having two weeks, basically, not practice but two weeks of walkthroughs some things of that nature. The thing that we need is we need walkthroughs,” Pittman said. “We need to see how we retain our offense or defense our special teams and they’ve allowed us to do that at a six-hour a week pace for the last two weeks before normally we would start our two-a-days. So that’s big for us. You know, maybe it’ll help us figure out exactly if we have the right people in the right place. Obviously the depth chart, that’s gonna be fluctuating throughout.”
Just how important are these two weeks to his debut season as head coach in Fayetteville?
“I thought it was big, I thought it was huge,” Pittman answered. “Otherwise, you’re going out there and you’re making a lot of mental errors, a lot of mistakes. I think we can correct all that in that two week period.”
During the interview, Pittman was asked to share his impression of true freshman signee from Georgia, Andy Boykin. During the recruiting process, the 6-foot-3, 301-pound Peach State native received plenty of attention from Auburn (he was once committed to the Tigers) in addition to Tennessee, Florida State and Miami, but in the end, it was the Razorbacks that landed his signature.
What exactly did Pittman and his staff like about Boykin?
“Well he’s big, you know? He can run. He loves to play the game,” the Arkansas coach said. “Very dynamic personality. Guy that in the future could probably be a leader on our football team. Big, strong, athletic guy that you know some people decided that they might pass on him late and we certainly weren’t one of those. We needed him and we waited on him.”
Considering the overall state of the roster inherited by Pittman and his coaching staff in Fayetteville, and based on the comments from his head coach, it won’t be a surprise if Boykin sees the field immediately this fall.