FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas wide receiver/punt returner Joe Adams reached consensus All-America status in 2011 as he was included on four of the five teams recognized by the NCAA. The Sporting News was the last of the five to release its team Thursday and named Adams its All-American punt returner.
The NCAA recognizes College Football All-America Teams selected by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) to determine consensus All-Americans. In order to be recognized as a consensus All-American, a player must be included on at least three of the five teams.
One of the most versatile and dynamic players in college football, Adams was recognized as an All-American punt returner by the Sporting News and return specialist by the Football Writers Association of America, both of which just release one team. Adams was named the second-team all-purpose player by the Associated Press and second-team kick returner by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Adams leads the country with three punt return touchdowns and an average of 16.19 yards per punt return. The Little Rock, Ark., native also ranks fourth in the SEC with an average of 4.1 receptions per game and is sixth in the conference with 52.5 receiving yards per game. His career receptions total of 159 ranks second on Arkansas’ all-time career receptions list. Adams is fourth in school history with 2,388 career receiving yards and seven career 100-yard receiving games, and his 17 career receiving touchdowns are tied for fourth on the school’s all-time career list.
His four career punt return touchdowns are tied for the lead among all active players nationally and tied for fourth all-time in the SEC. Adams ranks tied for second on the SEC’s single-season punt return touchdown list, one behind the conference’s single-season record.
According to the NCAA, Adams is the 20th different Razorback to be a consensus All-American and fifth in the last 20 years. His inclusion marks the 24th time Arkansas has had a student-athlete earn consensus All-America status.
Adams also was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and is one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the most versatile player in major college football.
Arkansas wraps up the 2011 season Jan. 6 in the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic when the Razorbacks, who finished sixth in the BCS standings, take on Kansas State, which was eighth in the final BCS standings, inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will air on Fox beginning at 7 p.m.