FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Four members of the Arkansas Razorback football team have been named first- or second-team All-SEC by the football coaches of the Southeastern Conference, it was announced on Tuesday.
Senior offensive lineman Mitch Petrus was named first-team All-SEC offense and redshirt sophomore quarterback Ryan Mallett and junior tight end D.J. Williams have been named second-team All-SEC offense. Currently, Arkansas leads the SEC in scoring offense (37.3), passing offense (303.3), passing touchdowns (31) and red zone offense (96 pct.).
Petrus played in and started 12 games at offensive guard for the Razorbacks. He was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Eastern Michigan (11/2). Against Eastern Michigan, Petrus and the offensive line gave the Arkansas quarterbacks time to combine for 19-of-27 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns. The line also paved the way for the Razorbacks to carry the ball 30 times for 292 yards and three touchdowns. The UA offensive line did not allow a sack against Eastern Michigan, marking the second game this year the Razorbacks have not allowed a sack.
Mallett is directing the unit and is doing more than averaging a record every time he sets foot on the field. In 12 games as a Razorback, Mallett has set or matched 16 different school records. He leads the SEC and ranks 15th nationally in total offense (282.2). He also leads the league and ranks eighth nationally in passing yards per game (285.2) and he is first in the SEC and sixth nationally in pass efficiency (157.8)
Williams ranks tied for 23rd in the SEC in receptions per game (2.58) and 24th in receiving yards per game (33.25). He ranks third on the Arkansas roster in catches with 31 for 399 yards, a total that ranks fourth on the team. He averages of 12.9 yards per catch and is tied for fourth on the team with three touchdown grabs. He caught passes in eight of 12 contests this season, and had multi-catch showings in all eight games. Williams was College Football Performance Awards National Tight End of the Week on Nov. 8 after his career game against South Carolina and Honorable Mention Tight End Performer of the Week for Georgia and Troy performances.
He was named to the Lombardi and Mackey Award Watch Lists. Additionally, Williams was a AFCA Good Works Team and FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award nominee. He was named first-team preseason All-SEC (Birmingham News, media) and second-team preseason All-SEC (coaches).
Senior defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard has been named to the second-team All-SEC defense. He ranks tied for 94th in the nation in tackles for loss (.92) and is tied for 10th in the SEC in tackles for loss. Arkansas’ leader in tackles for loss (11.0-39) and is tied for third in sacks (2.5-19), he had multi-tackle games in nine of 12 contests in 2009. Sheppard currently ranks tied for third on Arkansas’ career tackles for loss list with 37.0 for 130 yards.
Preseason, he was named to the Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski, Lombardi and Outland Trophy Watch Lists and was first-team preseason All-SEC (Birmingham News) and second-team preseason All-SEC (media, coaches).
On Monday, sophomore receiver Joe Adams, Mallett, Petrus and Sheppard were named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press.
Arkansas will play Conference USA Champion East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2010, in Memphis. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN. For more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.