It’s been a good week for some Razorback student athletes, who’ve been recognized by the SEC for their outstanding play. Footballers Travis Swanson, Alex Collins, Hunter Henry, Chris Smith, Trey Flowers and Zach Hocker were each named All-SEC, while Hog Hoops standout Bobby Portis was named Freshman of the Week, as was women ‘s freshman Jessica Jackson. All are deserving and should be congratulated.
When the All-SEC football teams were announced this week, the AP confirmed what we already knew: that Alex Collins was the best freshman in the league this year. He’s the only Razorback other than Darren McFapen to win the Freshman of the Year award. Just like he’s the only first-year Hog other than McFapen to rush for better than 1,000 yards. The exciting part is Collins’ best days are ahead of him. He’s not come close to perfecting his craft yet, but watching him do so is going to be a treat.
If there was ever an offensive lineman that embodied the true Razorback spirit, it’s Travis Swanson. He started all 50 games of his Arkansas career, a feat no one will ever top. He’s experienced the high of 21 wins in two years, and has been a constant leader and performer in the two seasons since. This week the AP voted him first team All-SEC and coaches put him on the second team. He’s also one of six finalists for the Rimington Award, presented annually to the top center in college football. I hope fans realize what a really good football player Travis Swanson is. His career will continue as a pro.
It was good to hear that former Hog baseball star Eric Hinske has signed on as first base coach for the Cubs. It makes me feel old to admit it, but I still remember vividly Hinske’s days as a Razorback. He was part of one of the memorable games in Baum Stadium history, when the Hogs scored 10 runs against South Carolina in their last at bat as sleet fell on the artificial turf. Those of us old enough to remember recall the Wisconsin native turned down a football scholarship from the Badgers to come play baseball for Norm DeBriyn, another Wisconsin native. Hinske’s officially a baseball lifer now. He’s honored the game with his play, and will be a great teacher, I’m sure.