"It was like a weight been lifted off your shoulders," says fullback Kiero Small. "The last eight months nobody would have expected what happened to happen."
"He was very confident, which gave us all confidence and it was just a sigh of relief that the coaching search situation is finally over," center Travis Swanson says.
Bret Bielema's hire came as a surprise to the Razorbacks, but it also comes with a tremendous resume.
"He's been to back-back-back Rose Bowls, so you got to be doing something right," says defensive end Chris Smith.
"From us just meeting with him when we did and hearing the things he had to say and direction he's trying to take this program, we're all looking forward to it," quarterback Brandon Allen adds.
Bielema also brings a change in identity, defense first is the new head Hog's approach, with an offense that is predicated on running the football.
"I found out we were getting a guy that was gonna pound the rock and it was pretty big for me," Small says.
"Bout time we talk about the defense around here. It gets me excited especially coming from a defensive player and we need that. You can't win an SEC championship without a great defense," Chris Smith says of Bielema's background.
The new head Hog is expected to instill a new attitude in Arkansas football, and his personal attitude is one that players seem to gravitate toward with Bielema's reputation as a player's coach.