Three members of the University of Arkansas football team were among those honored in the 63rd Annual Birmingham News Spring SEC Football Preview. Tight end D.J. Williams, running back Michael Smith and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard were selected to the first-team All-SEC Preseason All-SEC team. The team is selected each year by the league’s sports information directors.
In 2008, Williams was a Mackey Award semifinalist after he had 61 catches for 723 yards and three touchdowns. He was an All-SEC first-team selection (AP) and a second-team honoree by the coaches. Williams ranked second in the SEC in receptions per game last year (5.08) and seventh in receiving yards per game (60.25).
Smith, who was also chosen as the runner-up for Best Runner in the league, was a second-team All-SEC performer in 2008 (AP and Coaches). He was the ninth player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season (1,072). He led the league in all-purpose yards in 2008 (141.4) and ranked second in the SEC in rushing (107.2).
Sheppard had 68 tackles last season and led the team in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (6.5). In 2008, his tackle for loss total ranked second in the SEC and he was third in the league in sacks per game. Sheppard was a second-team All-SEC choice by the AP and Coaches.
The Razorback’s total of three first-team members ranked as the third-highest total in the league.