FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)--Following Jeff Long's firing, Arkansas defensive coaches and players reflected on the impact that the athletic director of more than nine years made on the Razorback football program.
"As personable a guy as I've been around in terms of being around and saying hey and stopping by your office and all those types of things," linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves said. "You don't necessarily have that type of relationship with the AD but that's just the kind of guy that Jeff is."
"I'm gonna miss him. You know, he was part of our program. It's just like losing a family member," said linebacker Jamario Bell. "Hate that for him and his family, I wish them the best in the future and like I said we're just gonna put our heads down and work and grind and fight the fight. He's a great guy, always positive things to say."
"I wanted to find a way to reach out to him but I don't have his phone number or anything like that," captain Kevin Richardson said. "So I went ahead and did it any other way somebody else would. Mentioned him on twitter just to show him some love that we're all still behind him, regardless of what his future may be."
Of course the Hogs have two games left on the schedule. While Long's firing certainly impacts the athletic department in the future, the Razorbacks still have to suit up on Saturday, no matter how much the loss impacts the program.
"Jeff didn't have the chance to play so I don't know how much it's gonna effect him," Hargreaves said with a smile.
"[Coach Bielema] talked to us and he just said, like he said we play for the University of Arkansas like we don't have to worry about none of that. None of that don't really concern us," leading tackler Scoota Harris said.
Richardson said he was surprised that Long gave so much attention to a walk-on like himself. "That's probably the best advice he gave me. He talked to me a lot, you know just to stay positive as a leader."
Arkansas hosts Mississippi State at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Missouri at 1:30 p.m on Black Friday. Both games will be broadcast on CBS/KFSM.