Pittman, Boyd pleased with status of offensive linemen

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman is shown prior to a game against UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Jason Ivester
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman is shown prior to a game against UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman came to one conclusion upon his offensive linemen returning to campus for voluntary workouts.

All of their mothers must be able to cook and cook well, he joked Tuesday on a Zoom conference call with reporters.

"We’re big right now," Pittman said as he provided updates on the Razorbacks' recent work with the strength and conditioning staff. "You won’t believe it, but we’ve got a pretty good-sized line. When they left and then came back (they added) quality weight.

"Right now I’m very pleased with the size of our offensive line."

Pittman and senior running back Rakeem Boyd were both complimentary of the group as a whole, commending the players for taking care of their bodies during the extended time away from team facilities and arriving in Fayetteville earlier this month in good shape.

Pittman added that Jamil Walker, officially hired as Arkansas' director of strength and conditioning in January, has placed an emphasis on pushing the Razorbacks' offensive linemen to grow. At this point, they are not running as much as they normally would, Pittman noted.

"Obviously, you know I like big, and we’re certainly going to continue to try to get bigger," he said. "The kids that we have certainly have done that. To me, bigger is better as long as we can move, and that’s what we’re trying to get done right now.

"I’ve been really pleased with the size and the way the guys came back."

Asked who among the returning offensive linemen had added positive weight, Pittman mentioned redshirt senior Myron Cunningham first. A transfer from Iowa Central Community College, Cunningham, who stands at 6-7, started in 10 of 11 games played in 2019, his first season at Arkansas.

He is now approximately 319 pounds, according to Pittman, up from 293 pounds following winter conditioning.

"He needed it," Pittman said. "It’s hard to set the bull when you don’t have enough butt to set it with. So, he needed it. I had a nice conversation with him, and I’m thinking he’s going to have a nice season.

"He worked hard at gaining that weight and staying in shape."

Boyd, who rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns last fall in a breakout junior season, believes his offensive linemen are in good condition ahead of the start of modified practices, which can begin July 24.

In his opinion, the offensive line has been the most impressive group in workouts in recent weeks.

"Those are my guys up front," Boyd said. "I've been here for two years and it switches every year. This year is the best they've ever looked. They look in shape and they've communicated. (When) we've got workouts, the whole group is together gameplanning.

"As a running back, when you see something like that you can't do nothing but smile because you know what is going to happen during the season."

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