Arkansas freshman details what walk-on tryouts were like

By Courtney Mims
on 2024-02-06 17:45 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas freshman Ryan Yates, who was a defensive lineman in high school, decided he wanted to see if he had what it takes to make it on the Razorbacks football team.

On Tuesday, he and around 50 other students participated in Arkansas’ Walk-On Tryouts.

“Oh my gosh, it was drill after drill the warmup had half the team completely out of shape and gassed, we ran two 40’s and did a couple of other agility drills, but the end I was seeing colors, you know?” Yates said.

He said the entire tryout process was extensive and even included a visit from the head hog.

“Sam Pittman, he talked to us all in a circle you know, said how proud of us he was and how much respect he had. He actually talked about how he didn’t have the courage to try out when he was in college,” Yates said.

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Honestly, if it wasn’t for Yate’s dad, Chris, he may have not even tried out.

“I told my son it’s a no brainer, he’s got to try out, I mean you have an experience and story forever and I thought to myself, I played high school football in 1987.. I still got it!” Chris said.

Unfortunately, Yate’s dad was not able to try out since only registered students were able to participate, but he was given a glimmer of hope after the tryouts were completed and he went to pick up his son.

“One of the coaches came out and said thanks for trying out and I told him, he goes, maybe we will do a special tryout for you I like your energy, and so you never know I may try out and if I make it, then I’ll come to school here, why not?” Chris said.

In all seriousness, there were some students at the tryout who caught the coaching staff’s attention.

“There was about four or five guys when they ran the 40, I knew. They were gonna go far and I could tell they’ve been practicing for this for a long time. Last year, they took about 10 to 12 guys they told us so I feel like this year there’s a lot of kids going through the transfer portal so they need a lot of big guys. I saw a couple guys being pulled aside and talked to by the coaches so I wish them the best of luck,” Ryan said.

Most DI college programs hold walk-on tryouts every year and this isn’t the first year Arkansas has held them. Who knows, they might be able to find a diamond in the rough from this year’s group.

(Last updated: 2024-02-06 17:45 PM)