FAYETTEVILLE — Offensive lineman Brey Cook was part of the Arkansas contingent that made the rounds at SEC Media Days last month.
So the senior has done his share of talking this summer. It didn’t exclude Cook from one more round of interviews with the local media Sunday night, though. And it’s no surprise Cook made it clear he’s ready for the talking to end.
“You have no idea,” Cook said. “That’s kind of over with, behind us. And now we’re ready to go out there on the field and that will start (today).”
All 105 members of Arkansas’ roster reported to campus for preseason camp Sunday. The Razorbacks will step out on the practice field for the first time this preseason today. It kicks off a 26-day stretch in which Arkansas prepares for the 2014 season and, more specifically, the season opener at Auburn on Aug. 30.
It has been 248 days since Arkansas wrapped up a disastrous 2013 season with the heart-breaking loss at LSU. So defensive tackle Demarcus Hodge said the Razorbacks have been counting the days until they can prove it won’t happen again.
“Everybody loves a good underdog, and I think Arkansas is going to be a big surprise for everybody this season,” Hodge said. “We’re going to come out and we’re going to shock the world. We’re going to show everybody all this work we put in.
“Instead of talking about it, we’re just going to show it.”
Arkansas will have its full compliment of players available for practice today after offensive linemen Cameron Jefferson and Sebastian Tretola arrived this weekend.
The two weren’t with the program during the offseason as they worked to gain clearance to transfer to Arkansas. The Razorbacks believe Jefferson, who was a three-year starter at UNLV, and Tretola, a junior college player, are talented enough to make an immediate impact on Arkansas’ offensive line.
Cook — who hosted Jefferson on his visit earlier this year — said he was “glad to see them finally here.” It will take some time to adapt, but Cook said both are capable.
“I’m sure they’ll do fine,” Cook said. “They’re both experienced guys coming from JUCO and coming from UNLV. They have experience playing and playing very well.
“They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. I assume they’ll come in and attack it.”
Hodge said that will be a common theme up and down the roster today.
“The first day is going to be a little bit wild, but we will calm down and get adjusted to it,” Hodge said. “That first day people are going to be flying around and then after that it will be like we know what we need to do.”
If the offseason is an indicator, Cook expects plenty of competition starting today.
The Razorbacks believe the newcomers will help provide more depth at key positions this season. There’s more familiarity between returning coaches and players, too, after working together for the past year.
But Cook understands those themes are common on college campuses this time of year. So it’s time for Arkansas to stop talking and prove it on the practice field.
“We’re hungry. We’re ready to go,” Cook said. “We’re ready to come in, like I said, and pop pads. It’s been awhile. Been a couple months. Especially with everyone having such a good summer that we had, we’re ready to come out and practice.”