Razorbacks Earn Honors

Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams and offensive lineman DeMarcus Love were named first-team All-SEC by the SEC Coaches and joined sophomore tailback Knile Davis on the AP's first team. Four different Razorbacks - quarterback Ryan Mallett, defensive end Jake Bequette, safety Tramain Thomas and linebacker Jerry Franklin also got second team nods on at least one of the teams.

When a team experiences success, the individuals heading up that squad usually take home the spoils.

Such was the case on Monday as three Arkansas players were named to the Associated Press' All-SEC first team, two on the SEC Coaches team on Tuesday and another talented offensive weapon and three defensive standouts were tabbed to the second team of one of the two lists.

Razorback senior tight end D.J. Williams was a unanimous choice in the AP voting and joined sophomore tailback Knile Davis and senior offensive lineman Demarcus Love as fellow first-team selections.

Williams and Love were also named to the Coaches' All-SEC first team while Davis was inexplicably named a second-team choice by the coaches despite out-rushing LSU's Steven Ridley.

""They deserve every bit of it," Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett said of players who helped the Razorbacks averaged 37.3 points per game and nearly 500 yards total offense per game. "They're great players and they proved that by the way they've played."

Davis is the surprise one of those, at least when it comes to preseason expectations.

But rushing for 1,183 this season (1,062 in the final eight games) vaulted him onto the first team.

"It's a great accomplishment," Davis said. "I'm real happy about it. I didn't expect this. If you asked me at the beginning of the season, I couldn't have told you I was going to do this. I'm just real blessed and happy about it."

Mallett was a second-team selection on the AP squad as well as safety Tramain Thomas and defensive end Jake Bequette.

It was Mallett, Davis, Bequette and linebacker Jerry Franklin on the Coaches' SEC second-team squad.

"It was obviously well-earned," Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said. "They both had goals of being first team and I know there is disappointment because there are some others that we felt like should have at least been nominated for that. The thing is Jake and Tramain had really good football seasons for us and the fact that they are underclassmen and will be returning is a great benefit with our leadership."

Many thought that Mallett had a chance to win the Heisman Trophy or at least get invited to New York City for the ceremony.

But Cam Newton's magical season put the Auburn quarterback in that spot instead and he is likely to win the award – just as he did All-SEC first-team signal caller honors.

Obviously the best player at the position in the SEC went first," Mallett said. "He's had a great year, but it feels good to be recognized."

Williams caught 49 passes for 582 yards and 4 scores this season. He was quick to praise the other two first-team honorees.

"I am so proud of Knile," Williams said. "That just comes from straight hard work in practice and the film room, getting his body ready to play, cold tubs, every necessary thing off the field to do good on the field…Can you imagine the season he would have had if he had been averaging 20-something carries those first four or five games?"

"DeMarcus Love is just a beast on the offensive line," Williams added. "He works hard and you will see him running down the field. There have been plenty of times that I have broke and looked back for a block and DeMarcus is there and he is backside of the whole play. He is a phenomenal talent and he works hard. That is hard to find in an offensive lineman, one that will run down the field like that."

Williams will head to Orlando Wednesday for the College Football Awards Show on Thursday night.

"I am leaving Wednesday and I will get to play around a lot in Disney World Thursday," Williams said. "I get to take my family and it will be the first time that I have been there. One thing I am really excited about is that I think Universal Studios now has the new Harry Potter Park built and I am a big Harry Potter fan. I will be there. I was practicing my wand moves last night….They say that you find your inner spirit and happiness and I think that is a good place to find it in Disney."

Love was quick to hand out praise to his fellow linemen and Davis.

"That is the whole offense that played into that role," Davis said. "I can't really take all the credit for that. I have to think my wing men – my center, the whole line, the running backs, everybody played a role in that. It is a good feeling to have that recognition."


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