Arkansas players soak in live event

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, April 26, 2020
Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool is shown during a game against Colorado State on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool is shown during a game against Colorado State on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, linebacker Bumper Pool and offensive lineman Dalton Wagner might hear their names called as NFL Draft picks in the next couple of years.

Over the weekend, the trio, along with millions of fans, were just glad to be able to watch the draft with the coronavirus shutting down nearly all college and professional sports.

The last several weeks replays of games from the past have been shown over and over by television networks.

"I think it's awesome to see a [live] sporting event," Franks said Friday during a media teleconference on which he was joined by Pool and Wagner. "I hadn't seen any sporting events on TV, obviously, in forever."

The draft as always offered some drama with many players either going higher or lower than expected.

"I thought it was pretty sweet," Pool said. "It was kind of nice to not know what was going on and just kind of be able to have the expected the unexpected, I guess. You're not used to that with this whole deal."

The draft was shown on ESPN and the NFL Network.

"It was a good time watching it," Wagner said. "It was just good to get back into some semblance of sports and not just talking about the same stuff and showing replays. It was cool to see all these guys, their dreams come true."

On Thursday night, Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman was shown on social media watching the draft with his wife, Jamie, and reacting to two players he had as Georgia's offensive line coach -- tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson -- going in the first round as the No. 4 and No. 29 picks to the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans, respectively. Pittman also was shown talking with Thomas and Wilson on the phone after they were picked.

"The passion and the love he had on the phone with his wife was so real," Pool said. "That wasn't staged at all.

"When you see something like that, you can tell that he loves his guys. How could you not want to play for somebody that loves you like you're their son?

"That was an awesome video. I'm really glad they put it out there."

The SEC had a record 17 first-round picks. The previous high was 12 picks set by the ACC in 2006 and tied by the SEC in 2013 and 2017.

Through three rounds completed Friday night, 40 of the picks were from the SEC, including Arkansas defensive lineman McTelvin Agim being selected in the third round by the Denver Broncos.

"A lot of guys in the SEC got picked up," Pool said. "So it was cool to watch that, too."

Sports on 04/26/2020

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