* CFN Names Olajubutu Honorable Mention All-American and Three Razorbacks to All-SEC Team *
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas freshman return specialist Felix Jones has been named a first-team All-American and junior linebacker Sam Olajubutu has earned honorable mention All-America recognition from College Football News.com it was announced on Monday. Jones is the first freshman in school history to garner All-America honors for the Razorbacks.
The Tulsa, Okla., native is the 41st player in Arkansas history to garner All-America honors for the Razorbacks including the 39th Razorback to earn first-team recognition. He is the first Razorback to be named to an All-America team since offensive tackle Shawn Andrews was honored in 2002 and 2003. Jones earned honorable mention All-America recognition earlier this month by SI.com.
“It is a tremendous honor for Felix to be named a first-team All-American as a freshman,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He had an outstanding rookie season in all phases of the game. When you think of all the great players in Arkansas history that have been All-Americans, it certainly puts it into perspective the magnitude of his achievement. Our entire kickoff return team deserves a lot of credit as well. It takes 11 players to execute on special teams and everyone worked well together.”
Jones leads the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 31.94 yards per return. He returned 17 kickoffs for 543 yards and one touchdown. He raced an NCAA record 100 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return in Arkansas’ victory over Mississippi State.
While Jones’ season is complete, he will have to wait to see if he finishes the season with an NCAA statistical championship. TCU’s Cory Rodgers (31.73) is second in the category and still has one game remaining in the EV1.net Houston Bowl on Dec. 31 against Iowa State. Jones and Rodgers are the only two players in the nation averaging more than 30 yards a return. If Jones maintains his statistical lead, he will become the first Razorback to lead the nation in kickoff returns.
Olajubutu has been recognized by College Football News.com as an honorable mention All-America selection at linebacker. Olajubutu led the Razorbacks and ranked third in the SEC in tackles. The LaGrange, Ga., product racked up 118 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss (-40), and 4.5 sacks (-22). Olajubutu was named first team All-SEC by league coaches earlier this month.
“Sam had an outstanding season for us on the defensive side of the ball,” Nutt said. “He was always around the football and made big plays time and time again. He has matured into one of the best defensive players in the nation. I’m looking forward to his senior season.”
Jones is also one of three Razorbacks named by College Football News.com to its All-Southeastern Conference squad. Joining the freshman kick returner on the squad are freshman tailback Darren McFadden and senior center Kyle Roper. In addition, McFadden was named as the SEC Freshman of the Year.
A consensus freshman All-America selection, McFadden rushed for 1,113 yards and 11 touchdowns in his freshman season. He became only the seventh freshman back in SEC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Roper anchored an offensive line that contributed to the SEC’s leading rushing attack. The Hogs averaged 216.9 yards per game on the ground in 2005. Roper and his teammates cleared the way for 10 100-yard rushing performances and a 1,000-yard rushing season by McFadden (1,113). Roper was recognized for his efforts by The Associated Press last week as a member of its All-SEC second team squad.