In four seasons on the hill Petrino had built the Razorbacks into a force in the SEC by demanding an unwavering commitment from his players. Do the right things to succeed every day. Follow a proper game plan in everything that you do. Never do anything to hurt the team.
Suddenly his players were hit over the head with the realization that the man who had been so focused in pushing those goals was not following his own ironclad rules.
How would they react to that?
According to Wilson a strong dose of senior leadership saved the day.
"There was a moment there," Wilson told reporters, "where people were waiting to see how some of the key guys were going to waver. If they were going to waver. I think we stood strong and the rest of the guys followed. We were able to have a tremendous spring."
Moving forward was one thing. Being left with unanswered questions as to why their former head coach could let the entire team down and then vanish behind a wall of silence bothered some of the players.
At Media Days senior running back Knile Davis admitted that hearing from Petrino was important to him. A phone call that he'd been waiting for finally came.
"He called me and he wished me luck," Davis revealed. "He explained that he was sorry for what happened. I could hear the hurt in his voice. He was very humble."
"I let him know not to be too hard on himself," Davis continued. "He'll come back from it. He's human like everyone else."
"It was good to here that just from a respect standpoint," Davis concluded, "and now I'm ready to go."
Davis and his teammates appear to have gained closure from the events of last spring which left them with a new and, for now, interim head coach. At Media Days Davis and Wilson made it clear that their goals for an SEC Championship are stronger than ever. This is a team of players and coaches that has survived the unthinkable and emerged on the other side stronger than before, they say.