FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas football team had 14 selections to the preseason All-Southeastern Conference team, as selected by the media assembled at SEC Media Days and announced on Friday morning.
Arkansas received 23 first place votes and 717 points overall to finish third in the Western Division voting, ahead of division foes Mississippi State, Auburn and Ole Miss. The Razorbacks also received 18 votes to be the league’s overall champion. Alabama was picked to win the division with 111 first place votes and 925 points overall, while LSU was selected second. In the Eastern Division, South Carolina picked up 114 first place votes and 931 total points to finish first.
UA had 14 selections to the media’s preseason All-SEC Team, which ranked as the second most among conference schools. Greg Childs was named to the first team offense, while Joe Adams and Knile Davis were on the second team offense. Four Razorbacks made the third team offense as Alvin Bailey, Grant Cook, Travis Swanson and Jarius Wright were named to the squad.
For the defense, Jake Bequette was a first team choice and Jerry Franklin was named to the second team. Jerico Nelson, Tramain Thomas and Tenarius Wright were all on the third team defense.
Adams was also named to the second team specialists, while Zach Hocker was a third team pick for the specialists.
In 2010, Childs tied for the team lead with six receiving touchdowns and ranked third on the team with 659 receiving yards and 49 receptions despite missing the final five games due to an injury. His two 100-yard receiving games ranked eighth in the SEC. The Warren, Ark., native enters the 2011 season ranked eighth on Arkansas’ all-time career touchdown receptions list with 15, 10th on UA’s all-time career receptions list with 112 and 10th on the Razorbacks’ all-time career receiving yards list with 1,826 to lead all current Razorbacks in each category. His five career 100-yard receiving games are tied for the most among 2011 Razorbacks and fourth all-time at Arkansas.
Adams has made at least one reception in all 34 games in his career, the longest active streak in the SEC and the fifth longest in the NCAA entering the 2011 season. He led the Razorbacks with a career-high 813 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with six receiving touchdowns in 2010. The Little Rock, Ark., native ranked second on the team with a career-high 50 receptions, which tied for the ninth-highest single-season total in school history. Adams ranked second in the SEC and tied for 28th in the NCAA with an average of 15.2 yards per play. He finished the season ranked sixth in the SEC with 4.2 receptions per game and seventh in the conference with 67.8 receiving yards per game. His three 100-yard receiving games tied for fifth in the SEC and tied for the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. He tied for seventh in the NCAA with 32 receptions against ranked opponents and was 11th in the country with 403 receiving yards against ranked foes. His 23 receptions of at least 15 yards tied for fifth in the SEC.
Davis was named first-team All-SEC by the AP and second-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches in 2010 after becoming just the 10th player in Arkansas history to post a 1,000-yard season on the ground. The Missouri City, Texas, native rushed for 1,322 yards, the most by a running back in the SEC and the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. His 6.48 yards per rushing attempt was the highest average in the NCAA among running backs that carried the ball at least 200 times and ranked as the fifth-highest single-season average at Arkansas. His average of 101.7 rushing yards per game ranked second in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA. He also ranked sixth in the SEC with 13 rushing touchdowns, tied for the 10th-highest single-season total in Arkansas history, and tied for sixth in the SEC for points by a non-kicker with 84. His six 100-yard rushing games tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in school history.
Bailey was named to the FWAA Freshman All-America Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team after starting all 13 games in 2010 and blocking for the first season in UA history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher. Quarterback Ryan Mallett set the Arkansas single-season passing yards record with 3,869, and running back Knile Davis rushed for 1,322 yards, the fourth-highest single-season rushing total in school history.
Cook was selected as a preseason All-SEC pick by the league’s coaches after appearing in 11 games in 2010, including the final eight, helping anchor UA’s offensive line for the first season in school history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher.
Swanson started all 13 games at center for the Razorbacks as a redshirt freshman in 2010, helping Arkansas be the only team in the SEC to start the same offensive line every game. The Kingwood, Texas, native was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team after UA was the only team in the country with a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and five 600-yard receivers.
Wright finished the 2010 season with 788 receiving yards, the second-highest total on the team, and five touchdowns on 42 catches. His receptions and receiving yards were career highs, while his touchdown total tied his career high from 2009. The Warren, Ark., native ranked fifth in the SEC with his 18.8 yards-per-reception average and eighth in the conference with his average of 60.6 receiving yards per game. His 23 receptions of at least 15 yards tied for fifth in the SEC, and his nine receptions of 25-plus yards tied for ninth. He ranked fifth in the NCAA with 542 receiving yards against ranked opponents. He enters the 2011 season ranked 11th on Arkansas’ all-time career receiving yards list with 1,817, 11th on the Razorbacks’ all-time career touchdown receptions list with 12 and 12th on UA’s all-time career receptions list with 102. He is tied for the lead among current Razorbacks and fourth all-time at Arkansas with five career 100-yard receiving games.
Bequette ranked fifth in the SEC and led the Razorbacks with 7.0 sacks in 2010, the eighth-highest single-season total in school history. The Little Rock, Ark., native also tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries and ranked fourth on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss last season. He enters the 2011 season tied for 10th on Arkansas’ all-time career sacks list with 13.5 and also leads the 2011 Razorbacks with 19 career quarterback hurries. Bequette was named second-team All-SEC at the conclusion of the 2010 season and has been selected as a preseason first-team All-SEC player this season. In addition, he is one of 42 players on the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.
Franklin led the team and ranked 10th in the SEC with a career-high 100 tackles in 2010, becoming just the second Razorback since 1960 to lead the team in tackles three straight seasons. He also led the team and tied for seventh in the SEC with a career-high 13.0 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries. The Marion, Ark., native ranked second on the team and eighth in the conference with 6.5 sacks, another career high, while adding two pass breakups and one forced fumble. He made a career-high 20 tackles at No. 22 Mississippi State to post the highest total in the SEC and the fifth-highest total in the NCAA last season.
Nelson played in all 13 games in 2010, including 12 starts, and finished the season with 87 tackles, a career-high total that ranked second on the team. He also had 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks one interception, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He finished the season tied for 11th in the SEC in tackles for loss and tied for 12th in tackles. Nelson was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week after recording 11 tackles, two for loss with a sack, in Arkansas’ 31-23 victory over LSU.
Thomas was named second-team All-SEC and to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List in 2010. In his career, he has a team-leading seven interceptions and also leads all 2011 Razorbacks with five forced fumbles. The Winnie, Texas, native finished the 2010 season with a team-leading and career-high four interceptions, as well as a career-high 83 tackles, 5.0 for loss with 0.5 sacks, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal. His interception total tied for seventh in the SEC and 39th in the NCAA, and his tackle total ranked 14th in the conference. Thomas made a career-high 14 tackles, the second-highest single-game total by a Razorback and the 13th-highest single-game total in the SEC in 2010, at No. 22 Mississippi State.
Wright received preseason All-SEC recognition from the league’s coaches after he appeared in all 13 games for the Razorbacks last season and finished his 2010 campaign with 36 tackles, including 8.0 for loss and 6.0 sacks, three quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. His four forced fumbles in his career ranks second among current Razorbacks. His sack total tied for ninth in the SEC last season. Wright made a career-high nine tackles, including a career-high-tying 2.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, in Arkansas’ 38-31 double-overtime win at No. 22 Mississippi State. His sack came on fourth down in the second overtime and sealed the win. He recorded a career-high 2.0 sacks as part of a then-career-high five tackles and forced one fumble vs. No. 1 Alabama.
Hocker was named to the 2010 SEC All-Freshman Team after scoring 104 points, 56-56 on PATs and 16-19 on field goals. Hocker’s 104 points scored were seventh in the SEC and rank as the fourth-highest single-season total in school history and the third most by a kicker. The Russellville, Ark., native was one of just two kickers in the SEC to be perfect on PAT kicks, and his 56 made PATs ranked second in the conference and tied for 12th in the NCAA and as the third-most in a season by a Razorback kicker. His .842 field goal percentage ranked third in the SEC and tied for 21st in the NCAA and is the third-best single-season percentage (min. 10 attempts) in school history. His long of 51 yards was an Arkansas freshman record and the longest by any UA kicker since 1988.