MOBILE, Ala. – The month of January will be a busy one for a pair of Arkansas Razorbacks. Following Tuesday’s Allstate Sugar Bowl against Ohio State, tight end D.J. Williams and left tackle DeMarcus Love will team up one final time as a part of the South squad in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Both players have officially accepted invitations to the senior showcase event, it was announced today. The 62nd game is scheduled for 3 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Jan. 29 in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game and all practices will be televised live by NFL Network.
"D.J. and DeMarcus have had outstanding senior seasons and they are both very deserving of a Senior Bowl invitation," Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. "They have both played key roles in the Razorbacks success this year, especially from an offensive standpoint, and we’re thrilled they’ve chosen to compete against the top seniors in the nation here at the Senior Bowl."
Williams won the John Mackey Award this season, which goes annually to the nation’s best tight end. The three-year starter reeled in a team-high 49 catches for 589 yards and four touchdowns in helping the Razorbacks to a 10-2 record and Sugar Bowl appearance this year. He was a first team All-SEC selection by both the AP and Coaches and also took home the Disney Spirit Award this year (college football’s most inspirational figure).
"It’s going to be a fun environment; something that I think will help me with my NFL Draft stock," Williams said. "The best players are going to be down there, so there’s no better way to display your talents."
The Little Rock, Ark., native is the active NCAA leader in catches (147) and yards (1,817) by a tight end and ranks tenth in school history in career yardage. His career receptions total is second most in school history and tops by a non-wide receiver.
"It will be even more special having my teammate DeMarcus Love representing the Razorbacks with me," Williams said.
Love was also a first team All-SEC selection this year by both the AP and Coaches. He started all 12 games for the Razorbacks this season from the left tackle position and is tied for the team lead with 36 career starts, including a team-high 29 straight heading into Tuesday’s game. He helped pave the way for a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher in 2010 and was part of an offensive unit that led the SEC and ranks fourth in the NCAA in passing offense (338.4ypg).
"I watch the Senior Bowl almost every year," Love said."My buddy Mitch Petrus, who played guard next to me last year, actually played in it. Tony Ugoh, Jonathan Luigs, all those guys that I went to Arkansas with-I’ve seen all those guys play in it. I always watched it and it’s just amazing now that I’m going to be playing in it myself."
Love is a key member of an offensive line that has already broken single-season school marks with 5,871 total yards, 4,061 passing yards, 34 passing touchdowns and 277 completions. He and his teammates enter Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl with a streak of eight consecutive games with a 100-yard rusher, averaging 174.8 rushing yards in those eight games.
"It’s going to be fun," Love said. "It’s going to feel good to play another collegiate game next to D.J. and it will give Arkansas fans something to cheer for. If people from Arkansas watch the game they’ll get to see two Hogs playing and it will be good for them."
Tickets for the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl are currently available for purchase at the Senior Bowl ticket office (151 Dauphin Street), the Bel Air Mall customer service desk, all area Food For Less locations, select Regions Bank locations, online at www.seniorbowl.com or by calling (251) 432-4109.