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The Daily Call – Dec. 14, 2013

BY ANDRES FOCIL
The Daily Call – Dec. 14, 2013

Student-athletes are taking a break from competition to focus on finals, but The Daily Call has information to help you get through until the men’s basketball team is back on the court Thursday.

@RazorbackFB ParentsLast night the Arkansas football team held its 2013 banquet. Below, some of the seniors’ parents talk about their experience with the Razorbacks, head coach Bret Bielema and graduation.

Roslynn Thomas, mother of team captain DT-Robert Thomas: "It’s been a pleasure for him. He has really enjoyed the football team. He came back to finish out his eligibility but he has loved Arkansas. The team has been great for him as well as his coaches. He loves Coach Bielema. Coach B is one of his favorite coaches. He loves Robert and Robert loves him. He’s gone out of his way with my son, not only on the field but also outside the football field. He’s the first of my four children to graduate. To see my son graduate and move on has been an incredible blessing."

Gina Swanson, mother of team captain and All-American C-Travis Swanson: "It’s been a wonderful journey. He said when he came here for the one-day camp that this is exactly where he wanted to be, and he was blessed to be able to come. Through all the great years and challenges, we still feel exactly the same way. This has been a wonderful journey for him, and we’re looking forward to continuing it. The coaching staff is phenomenal. Fantastic. We really feel lucky to be able to at least get one year with them. I wish we had more. I’m excited for his future and very proud of him. Graduating was a huge goal for him to set and accomplish. He did, and we’re just really excited."

Leslie Stith, mother of team captain FB-Kiero Small: "I’ve felt very comfortable. From hearing from him, I’ve liked the experience. It was very open as far as the academic side as well as the athletic side. The coaching staff definitely is a good fit for him, for his style of football. I wish we would have had more time, but I believe that the system that they have in place is definitely going to work. It’s going to move them forward. I’m so excited he’s graduating. It’s amazing that it’s all coming to an end, but he’s worked hard. He’s earned it. It’s exciting."

Kathy Jones, mother of DT-Byran Jones: "It has been very exciting and an amazing experience. He’s enjoyed it, and I have too. I enjoy seeing him play for the University of Arkansas. I know Coach Bielema and Byran get along really well, which is a good thing. For him to be able to play for him he needs that. If you like your boss you want to work hard. Byran graduating is so special to me. It is exciting. I’ve been crying a lot recently, just the closer it gets it seems even more unbelievable. I can hardly believe it. It is bittersweet. I’ll be sad to not come to these games but he’s going to get ready to get out of school which is just so good. I’m so proud."

Paul Hurd, father of OT-David Hurd: "It has just been wonderful. David’s enjoyed it tremendously. I think he’s really come out of his shell to be part of something great. He’s just really enjoyed it. He was a big young man when he got here and now he’s a big man. They’ve helped him grow up and it’s been a heck of a five years. We’re real proud to be here. I think that Coach B and all of the coaches have really come in and helped these boys. They’ve gotten to know the players in a short period of time, and I think the players have really bought in to everything. It’s always tough with a new coach but it hasn’t been destructive. It’s been constructive, competitive, fresh and new with Coach Bielema. It has truly been a great transition."

Xaviers Herndon, father of WR-Javontee Herndon: "It’s been an amazing experience, and he’s enjoyed every minute of it. He’s grown academically and athletically, as well as a young man. As a parent, to see him make those leaps from high school to college, I can’t believe that we are near the end but it has been an amazing experience for him. I can’t say anything but amazing things. He has an older brother that graduated from Vanderbilt and his twin brother will graduate in December as well. I will be the first parent in my family to have three children graduate from college so it is wonderful and I am just so proud."

Olivia Scurlock, mother of WR-Javontee Herndon: "It has been an amazing experience and we’ve enjoyed the ride. I’m looking forward to graduation but I will miss the University of Arkansas. Coach Bielema has been an awesome coach. He’s done a really great job in such a short time. I’ve appreciated him coming in from a terrible losing season to building them back up to this momentum. It has just been awesome."

Sandy Hocker, mother of All-SEC K-Zach Hocker: "He got to fulfill a dream of being a Razorback. It’s been just awesome. Zach grew up wanting to be a Razorback. It’s the best coaching he’s had. It has been an awesome experience and he wishes he could have had more time with Coach Bielema. He’s been awesome."

LeAnn Holmes, mother of LB-Price Holmes: "This is the third generation of our family to come to school here, so that was real important. When he started going through recruiting this was always in the forefront, so being a Razorback for him was just a lifelong dream. Price is a fifth-year senior. We’re so glad that he took this extra year and that he’s getting to be a part of this. I’m so sad that he’s only going to have one year with them, but he has loved all of the coaches. They’re men of honor."

Price Holmes Jr., father of LB-Price Holmes: "We wish he had these coaches his whole career. That’s the kind of people they are. Price has been on the SEC honor roll every year, and so I’m really proud of him being able to have that commitment to both things."

Collins, Henry Earn Freshman All-America AcclaimTrue freshmen Alex Collins and Hunter Henry were named to Sporting News’ Freshman All-American Team released yesterday. Arkansas’ two selections on offense tied for the most from one school, and UA was one of five teams with multiple Freshman All-Americans. For more information, click here.

Swanson Tabbed All-SEC By Sporting NewsSenior center and team captain Travis Swanson was named to his fifth All-SEC team Friday afternoon when Sporting News released its all-conference selections. This week, Swanson also has been a first-team All-American and finalist for the Rimington Trophy. Click here for more on the Kingwood, Texas, native.

Athlon Names Four All-SECHunter Henry, Travis Swanson, Chris Smith and Zach Hocker were recognized as second-team All-SEC performers by Athlon. Henry was the only all-conference freshman on offense and one of two named to either all-conference team. To read more about the quartet, click here.

Scoring Defense Of @RazorbackWBB Continues To Top NCAAThe University of Arkansas women’s basketball team (11-0) continues to lead or rank highly in a number of national statistics through the third reporting period, including the NCAA’s No. 1-ranked scoring defense for the second straight week. Click here to check out all the numbers and where the Razorbacks stand nationally.

Razorbacks are 1 of 4 teams ranked top 20 in NCAA for both FG% and FG%D. Only others: No. 1 UConn, No. 10 SC & No. 14 Okl St. #NeverYield

– RazorbackWBB (@RazorbackWBB) December 13, 2013

@RazorbackSwim Ranked No. 19 In Latest CSCAA PollThe University of Arkansas swimming and diving team earned a No. 19 ranking in this week’s Division 1 College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll.

The ranking was released after the Razorbacks went 4-0 in dual meets during the fall semester, breaking the school record for consecutive dual-meet victories. The Razorbacks have won 14 straight dual meets, breaking the record of 13 set from 1991-92.

Read the entire release here.

@RazorbackSwim’s Drolc Pleased With TrainingUniversity of Arkansas swimmer Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) checked in with RazorVision to discuss her training, team bonding and relay teams.

Check out her interview below.

Hog Heaven’s 12 Days Of Razorback CheerOn the fifth day of Razorback’s Christmas, Hog Heaven gave to me, 25% off perchasewith a University of Arkansas ID (minimum purchase of $75). Click here to see the other sales!

Too ambiguous? Know exactly what coverage we’re missing? Have a general question for the athletic department? Tell us. Shout at arkmr@uark.edu with suggestions of what you would like to see covered and what the column is missing. Interaction is good. Think of this as your portal to all things Arkansas.



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