Arkansas senior Kiero Small says he’s slimmer, stronger and hoping to see action on both sides of the ball this year.
Kiero Small is down to 250 pounds and says he's stronger and feels faster.
The 5-foot-10 Small, who appeared in all 13 games last season as the Razorbacks’ No. 1 fullback, reported for fall camp with his teammates Wednesday weighing about 250 pounds. He played last season at between 255-258 pounds.
The weight loss could turn out to be very beneficial,since he could see more action this season. Arkansas’ coaches have talked to him about playing some linebacker as well as fullback, and he got some reps at linebacker in the spring.
“Five pounds, if you run around with a five-pound weight in your pocket, you’ll see the difference,” he said. “So five pounds makes a good difference. I actually got stronger and everything. Losing the weight helped me get faster, at least I feel faster. I don’t know if I’m really that much faster. At least feel faster and it helps me in my workouts."
Small said the idea of losing weight was a “kind of a mutual” agreement between he and the Razorbacks’ coaches and that he “wanted to lose it to be in better shape during the season.”
“Before spring ball, I started going in, getting some extra cardio, things of that sort,” Small said. “So during spring ball, it helped me lose weight, and I’ve just been maintaining it ...”
As for possibly seeing time at linebacker, Small said he was “all for it.” He and Coach John L. Smith have talked about it. But he knows the plan isn’t for him to start at linebacker.
“It’s a depth thing and I’m all for it,” Small said. “I played linebacker two years (at Hartnell Community College in California) before I got here.”
Hot, hot, hot
Alfred Davis has some advice for the newcomers: Don't let the heat beat you.
The Razorbacks begin fall camp Thursday at the university’s intramural fields, with the newcomers practicing from 3-4:30 p.m. and the veterans going from 6:38-8 p.m.
And it’s going to be hot, especially for the first practice. Very hot.
The projected high Thursday is 104 degrees, according to The Weather Channel, and the forecast for Friday calls for 103-degree heat.
The Razorbacks have put in work this summer to get used to it, running at 2:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“That got us ready for camp,” senior defensive tackle Alfred Davis said. “Because in camp, we’re going to be outside practicing with another layer of pads on, making it 15 degrees hotter. The way we approach the summer, running at the hottest part of the day helped us get to where we’re trying to be at."
Davis said the Hogs have beat the heat, and that everyone went at it hard during the voluntary workouts.
“There’s was no slacking, nobody missing times or anything like that,” he said.
“I felt like we overcame the summer. We conquered the summer pretty much.”
Otha Peters has a chance to contribute immediately as a true freshman.
Small agreed that it has been a good summer for the team.
“The strength and conditioning coach said we attacked the runs pretty good, attacked the lifts pretty good,” he said. “We’re pretty much ready to go play football now.”
Davis had some words of wisdom for Arkansas’ newcomers as they get ready to go through their first fall camp.
“Just conquer. Don’t let the heat beat you,” he said. “Cause really, we recruited you because you were a good football player but don’t let it be something other than football that makes you want to quit or try to break you. It’s camp. That’s what it’s all about. Go be out at the hottest part of the day playing hard, fast football, and that’s what we do here. And I want those guys to understand. It’s going to be hot, but you’re going to have to get out and play some ball.”
True freshman linebacker Otha Peters said the veterans have been telling the newcomers quite a bit about what to expect.
“It’s going to be rough,” he said when asked what he had been told. “And you’re going to second-guess, but they say stick through it and look to them for help and look for your family. Call your family because you’re going to need them during this rough couple of weeks we’re going to go through.”
The Razorbacks are scheduled to practice 10 consecutive days before getting a day off.
For the fall camp schedule, click HERE.
Senior All-SEC quarterback Tyler Wilson reported for camp wearing a white T-shirt with the words “DO WORK” printed on the front. … Freshman wide receiver Keon Hatcher said Wilson has been like another coach this summer. “Everything he does is just like right on point. Everything is almost perfect.” … Hatcher, who is one of the freshmen who have a chance to contribute immediately, has been preparing to work at the “W” and “Z” wide receiver positions. He’s hoping to learn the “X” position this fall as well. … Coaches weren’t available to the media Wednesday, but head coach John L. Smith is scheduled to speak to the media after the veterans’ practice Thursday evening. Offensive players will also be available.