FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team had eight players named to the Associated Press All-SEC Team, as announced on Monday afternoon.
Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson and senior wide receiver Jarius Wright earned first-team honors and were joined by senior wide receiver/return specialist Joe Adams who was selected as the All-SEC first-team all-purpose player. Sophomore offensive guard Alvin Bailey, junior punter Dylan Breeding and senior linebacker Jerry Franklin were on the second team, while junior running back/return specialist Dennis Johnson was also the All-SEC second-team all-purpose player as Arkansas swept the first- and second-team all-purpose player position. Senior safety Tramain Thomas received All-SEC honorable mention.
One of the most dynamic players in college football, Adams leads the country with three punt return touchdowns and an average of 16.19 yards per punt return. Adams is the only player in the NCAA with rushing, receiving and multiple punt return touchdowns for 2011. Adams 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. Adams has 159 career receptions, which ranks second on Arkansas’ all-time career receptions list.
A finalist for the Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Wilson is the first Arkansas quarterback to be named first-team All-SEC and the Razorbacks’ first first-team all-conference quarterback since Quinn Grovey earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1988. Wilson is the second player in UA history to record 3,000 passing yards in a season. Wilson leads the SEC and ranks 14th nationally with an average of 285.2 passing yards per game. Wilson has a passing efficiency rating of 148.66, which is second in the league and 21st in the country. Wilson ranks second on Arkansas’ single-season completions list with 257 completions, third on the UA single-season passing yards list with 3,422 yards and fourth on Arkansas’ single-season passing touchdowns list with 22.
Wright leads the SEC with 93.5 receiving yards per game, 5.7 receptions per game and 11 receiving touchdowns. He ranks 12th nationally in receiving touchdowns. Wright has set the UA single-season record with 63 receptions and 1,029 receiving yards during the 2011 season and has tied the Arkansas single-season record with 11 receiving touchdowns. Wright is also Arkansas’ all-time career receptions leader with 165 catches in his collegiate career. Wright set a new Arkansas single-game record with 281 receiving yards in Arkansas’ win against Texas A&M. He also tied the school single-game record with 13 receptions in the win over the Aggies.
Bailey has started all 12 games this season and all 25 in his career. He is a member of an offensive line that has blocked for an offense that has produced a 3,000-yard passer for the third straight season. Arkansas leads the SEC and ranks 13th in the country in passing offense, averaging 307.8 yards per game, and also leads the SEC and ranks 27th nationally with an average of 445.8 yards of total offense per game. The UA offense ranks second in school history in completions (279) and passing first downs (161), third in passing yards (3,693) and fourth in scoring (449) and touchdowns scored (56-tie).
Breeding leads the SEC and is seventh nationally with an average of 45.2 yards per punt. Breeding has 16 punts of 50 or more yards in 2011, including a career-long 70 yarder at No. 1 LSU on Nov. 25. He has placed 14 punts inside the 20-yard line with only two touchbacks. Breeding has averaged more than 40 yards per punt in each game he’s punted this season and has recorded at least one punt of 50-plus yards in nine games. Breeding ranks fifth in school history with 6,784 total career punting yards.
Franklin leads the Razorback defense and is sixth in the SEC with 93 tackles in 2011. Franklin has recorded 10.0 tackles for loss, which is second on the team and tied for 14th in the conference. He’s tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries. Franklin, who has started 49 games in his career and 30 straight, ranks third on UA’s all-time career tackles list with 374 stops.
Johnson ranks fourth in the SEC and 32nd in the NCAA with an average of 25.6 yards per kickoff return, including a 98-yard kickoff return for touchdown in Arkansas’ win against South Carolina. Johnson is averaging 135.1 all-purpose yards per game, which is second in the SEC and 33rd in the country. He is seventh in the SEC with an average of 63.7 rushing yards per game and ranks first among the SEC’s top-10 rushers and fifth in the conference with a 6.3 yards-per-carry average.
Thomas has five interceptions during the 2011 season, which is tied for third in the SEC and 10th nationally. Thomas had a pair of interceptions in the Razorbacks’ 38-14 win against Auburn on Oct. 8. Thomas has also made 87 tackles on the season, which is second on the team. For his career, Thomas has intercepted 12 passes, which is tied for third on UA’s all-time career interceptions list.
The sixth-ranked Razorbacks will conclude their season on Jan. 6 in the 76th annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic against Kansas State inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on Fox.