As one of veterans on Arkansas’ 2022 football team, center Ricky Stromberg (6-4, 310) was well aware of what the first day of camp was going to be like.

So the 100 degree temperature on day one of fall practice was not surprising to a guy who was second-team All_SEC last season and is picking up All-American buzz heading into this campaign.

“It was hot as expected, Stromberg said. “We practiced our butts off though. I think personally we had a good first day. I liked it pretty well. Defense and linebackers did well but only gonna build on here.

“I think you do have to set expectations, but it’s also the first day. I think you need to get all the stuff out of the way on the first day so you can stack up good days the rest of camp.”

Stromberg, who started all 13 games and played 873 snaps in 2021, is part of a veteran offensive lien that also includes right tackle Dalton Wagner, guards Beaux Limmer and Brady Latham and Luke Jones.

Those are returnees from a group that led Power 5 schools in rushing (227.8 yards per game) with Stromberg allowing only three sacks all season and having just eight penalties.

“I think it’s pretty important,” Stromberg said of the offensive line’s experience. “We’re all old too, so I think that’s pretty important. We also have leaders like Dalton Wagner. We have Brady Latham, you know, Beaux Limmer, those guys are leaders.”

“…The O-Line, I mean, we’re so close.  We started back in the (former head coach Chad) Morris era. Dalton was there, Luke came in, Beaux, Brady, me. it’s been proved we’ve been pretty close for a while now. So we’re gonna keep building on that. “

Devon Manuel is a young tackle that Stromberg thinks has a great future.

“Devon Manuel is doing really well,” Stromberg said. “He’s really athletic for his size, for how big he is, he’s super athletic, and he’s gonna only continue to get better and better. So he’s going to be a great player.

 Stromeberg believes there is a solid leadership core on defense.

“There’s more leaders than just us, I would say,” Stromberg said. “I would say this team is rising with leaders.”

Stromberg is anxious to build on last season’s success – a 9-4 mark after going 3-7 the previous season.

“Obviously we tasted success last year, obviously we were 9-4,” Stromberg said. “So we know what it takes to get there. I think doing the little things better will take us above the 9-4 barrier. Just keep working on the little things.

Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman, regarded as one of the nation’s best offensive line teachers, lauded current Razorback offense line coach Cody Kennedy as someone who teaches the second step better than he used to do.

“Yeah, so the second-step thing he’s talking about is down shoulder,” Stromberg said.  “He’s telling my second step was going backward instead of up the field. So he was correcting me on that. 

“Coach Kennedy is awesome. He’s a player’s coach. We love him. You can talk to him whenever you want. He does such a great job out there. Having a coach you can talk to and it’s not just coach and players it feels like a good relationship. It’s just awesome.

Stromberg also agreed with Pittman’s assessment that senior defensive tackle Isaiah Nichols is a valuable piece of the football team.

“Yeah, I think Isaiah has stepped up as a big leader this year,” Stromberg said. “He’s like one of the old guys on the team. So in that aspect he has stepped up a lot. He’s a great teammate and he’s going to keep getting better and better.”