FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football program received more accolades on Friday as its list of post-season honors grew with the release of Rivals.com’s All-SEC teams and College Football News’ All-Freshman and All-Sophomore squads.
A total of six players were honored seven times between the three teams with tight end D.J. Williams getting nods on both the Rivals.com First-Team All-SEC team and the College Football News’ All-Sophomore Second team. Williams was joined by center Jonathan Luigs on the Rivals.com First-Team All-SEC while running back Michael Smith and punter Jeremy Davis were named to Rivals’ second-team. Defensive lineman Zach Stadther and linebacker Jerry Franklin were recognized by College Football News on the Second-Team All-Freshman squad.
For Williams, his addition to the two post-season teams gives the sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., five post-season team accolades not to mention his semifinalist run at the John Mackey Award which goes to the nation’s best tight end. Coming into the 2008 season with just five career receptions, Williams hauled in a near school record 61 catches for 723 yards and was among the leaders in the Southeastern Conference in receptions while ranking fifth among the nation’s tight ends in catches per game and eighth in receiving yards per game.
Luigs earned all-conference honors for the fourth time this postseason and his second first-team appointment. The 2007 Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s best center, Luigs was a Rimington Trophy finalist in 2008 to go along with second-team All-SEC honors by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press and first-team accolades from the Phil Steele.
The SEC’s leading rusher for a good portion of the season, Smith has been a consensus second-team all-conference running back by the SEC Coaches, AP, Phil Steele and Rivals.com who each named him to their teams. Davis, who had his best year as a Razorback, earned recognition on his third All-SEC squad with the Rivals notification. Davis was also a member of Phil Steele and the AP’s second teams.
College Football News gave Franklin and Stadther their first tastes of national recognition with their All-Freshman picks. Franklin led the Razorbacks in tackles this season with 87 as well as interceptions and fumble recoveries while patrolling nearly every linebacker position. Stadther’s 57 tackles this year ranked fourth on the Arkansas roster and his eight quarterback hurries were second on the squad.
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