FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks had six players selected for preseason All-SEC teams as voted on by the media, the Southeastern Conference announced Friday.
Running back Jonathan Williams, tight end Hunter Henry and offensive linemen Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland were named to the All-SEC second team while running back Alex Collins and offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola collected All-SEC third team honors.
A Doak Walker Award candidate, Williams rushed for 1,190 yards last season, the eight-best mark in school history and earned second team All-SEC honors by the Associated Press. He enters 2015 ranked No. 10 in school history with 2,321 career rushing yards and sixth with a 5.72 yards per rush average. Williams was also named to the Maxwell Award Watch List.
Henry has been the SEC’s best tight end over the past two seasons, leading the conference with 65 receptions over the two-year span. As a sophomore, Henry caught 37 passes for 513 yards and was named All-SEC second team by the conference’s coaches. His marks in receptions and receiving yards both ranked third among the league’s tight ends. Earlier this summer he was named to the Mackey Award Watch List, given annually to the nation’s top tight end.
Skipper started all 13 games at left tackle last year, helping the offensive line lead the SEC with just 14 sacks allowed. Last year he earned Associated Press All-SEC honorable mention honors after leading the team’s offensive linemen with an 80 percent grade playing more than 700 total snaps. This offseason he embraced a move to right tackle for the 2015 season where he will use his 6-foot-10 frame to help protect fifth-year starting quarterback Brandon Allen and a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Williams and Collins.
Kirkland has started 21 consecutive games at right guard, including all 13 contests in 2014. He was dominant at the position allowing just one sack and three penalties last year despite playing a team-high 750-plus snaps. Kirkland tied for second on the team with a 79 percent overall grade. The junior will slide out to left tackle in the 2015 season and is a candidate for the Outland Trophy given to the nation’s best interior lineman.
Collins rushed for 1,100 yards on 204 carries in 2014, joining Williams as the only pair of FBS teammates to each rush for 1,000 yards last season. It was the second consecutive season Collins topped the 1,000-yard plateau as he became just the second Razorback (Darren McFadden) to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Collins enters his junior season ranked 14th in school history with 2,126 career rushing yards and is a candidate for both the Maxwell Trophy and Doak Walker Award.
A junior college transfer in 2014, Tretola started at left guard for the final 11 games of the 2014 season. He did not allow a sack in over 690 snaps and averaged a grade of 79 percent, tied for the second-best on the team. He has dropped 36 pounds since he stepped on campus last year and has replaced that weight with tremendous strength.
The Razorbacks will hold its first practice of the season on Thursday, Aug. 6. The season opener against UTEP is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5 at 2:30 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
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