FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas football team has elected six captains for the 2011 season, head coach Bobby Petrino announced Thursday.
Junior running back Knile Davis, junior quarterback Tyler Wilson, senior wide receiver Jarius Wright, senior defensive end Jake Bequette, senior linebacker Jerry Franklin and senior safety/linebacker Jerico Nelson were selected by a team vote taken Wednesday evening.
In 2010, Davis became the 10th player in Arkansas history to post a 1,000-yard season on the ground when he rushed for 1,322 yards, the most by a running back in the SEC and the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. The Missouri City, Texas, native's 6.48 yards per rushing attempt was the highest average in the NCAA among running backs that carried the ball at least 200 times and ranked as the fifth-highest single-season average at Arkansas. His average of 101.7 rushing yards per game ranked second in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA. His six 100-yard rushing games tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. This preseason, Davis has been named to the Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award watch lists and he was a preseason All-SEC second-team honoree.
Wilson became just the ninth quarterback in Arkansas history to throw for 300 yards in a game when he came on in relief of an injured Ryan Mallett in the second quarter at No. 7 Auburn. In less than three full quarters against the Tigers, Wilson passed for a career-high 323 yards, including a career-long 54-yard completion, and a career-high four touchdowns. The Greenwood, Ark., native's touchdown total tied for the fourth-highest single-game output in school history, and his passing yardage equated to the 14th-best single-game performance by a Razorback. His four passing touchdowns tied for the third-highest single-game output in the SEC in 2010, and his passing yards were the 12th-best single-game total in the conference. His four touchdowns were the most the Tigers had allowed at home since 2000, and his 332 passing yards were the most given up by an Auburn defense inside Jordan-Hare Stadium since 2001. He appeared in six games during the 2010 season and finished 34-of-51 passing for 453 yards. Wilson has been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List entering the 2011 season.
Wright finished the 2010 season with 788 receiving yards, the second-highest total on the team, and five touchdowns on 42 catches. His receptions and receiving yards were career highs, while his touchdown total tied his career high from 2009. The Warren, Ark., native ranked fifth in the SEC with his 18.8 yards-per-reception average and eighth in the conference with his average of 60.6 receiving yards per game. His 23 receptions of at least 15 yards tied for fifth in the SEC, and his nine receptions of 25-plus yards tied for ninth. He ranked fifth in the NCAA with 542 receiving yards against ranked opponents. He enters the 2011 season ranked 11th on Arkansas' all-time career receiving yards list with 1,817, 11th on the Razorbacks' all-time career touchdown receptions list with 12 and 12th on UA's all-time career receptions list with 102. He is tied for the lead among current Razorbacks and fourth all-time at Arkansas with five career 100-yard receiving games. Wright has been named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List and is a third-team preseason All-SEC selection for 2011.
Bequette ranked fifth in the SEC and led the Razorbacks with 7.0 sacks in 2010, the eighth-highest single-season total in school history. The Little Rock, Ark., native also tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries and ranked fourth on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss last season. He enters the 2011 season tied for 10th on Arkansas' all-time career sacks list with 13.5 and also leads the 2011 Razorbacks with 19 career quarterback hurries. Bequette has been named to watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and is a preseason first-team All-SEC selection.
Franklin led the team and ranked 10th in the SEC with a career-high 100 tackles in 2010, becoming just the second Razorback since 1960 to lead the team in tackles three straight seasons. He also led the team and tied for seventh in the SEC with a career-high 13.0 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries. The Marion, Ark., native ranked second on the team and eighth in the conference with 6.5 sacks, another career high, while adding two pass breakups and one forced fumble. He made a career-high 20 tackles at No. 22 Mississippi State to post the highest total in the SEC and the fifth-highest total in the NCAA last season. Franklin has been named to the Butkus Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award and Rotary Lombardi Award watch lists and is a preseason second-team All-SEC honoree.
Nelson tied for 11th in the SEC with a career-high 11.0 tackles for loss and tied for 12th in the conference with a career-high 87 tackles in 2010. The Destrehan, La., native's tackle total ranked second on the team, and his tackles for loss total was third among Razorbacks. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 29 following a season-high 11 tackles, 2.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, and one quarterback hurry in Arkansas' 31-23 victory vs. No. 6 LSU. Nelson was selected as a preseason third-team All-SEC honoree by the media.
Arkansas begins its 2011 season in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Sept. 3 when it hosts Missouri State. The game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be available on pay-per-view.