Four Razorbacks Named Preseason All-SEC

Four members of the University of Arkansas football team were named to the 2001 Preseason All-Southeastern Conference football team while the Razorbacks were picked to finish fifth in the SEC Western Division in a Thursday announcement by the league's media relations office.

Sophomore tailback Cedric Cobbs was the Razorbacks' lone first-team selection while junior punter Richie Butler, sophomore safety Ken Hamlin and senior offensive right guard Kenny Sandlin were named to the second team in balloting by media members at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.
 
Returning for his second sophomore season after a missing most of the 2000 schedule due to injury, Cobbs adds Thursday's selection to a growing list of preseason honors. The 6-1, 221-pound Little Rock, Ark., native set the Razorbacks' season record for rushing yards by a freshman with 668 yards during the 1999 campaign and was granted an additional year of eligibility after separating his right shoulder last year in Arkansas' third game of the season.
 
A second-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press, SEC coaches and The Sporting News after averaging 42.8 yards per punt last season, Butler hopes to improve on that mark in 2001. The 6-1, 210-pound Harrison, Ark., product placed 17 of his 65 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line last season and was instrumental in the Hogs' late-season upsets of Mississippi State and LSU. Hamlin adds Tuesday's preseason All-SEC selection by media members to similar honors from The Birmingham News and the Southeastern Post earlier this summer. The 6-2, 197-pound Memphis, Tenn., product led the Razorbacks in tackles last season en route to freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News and Football News and freshman All-SEC laurels from SEC coaches and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
 
Sandlin, who joined Cobbs as the Razorbacks' player representatives at SEC Football Media Days, takes a streak of 24-consecutive starts into his senior season in 2001. The 6-3, 313-pound Van Buren, Ark., native anchors a UA offensive line that helped three different running backs total five games with 100 or more rushing yards last season. The Southeastern Post named Sandlin to its preseason All-SEC first team earlier this summer.
 
Voters placed the Hogs behind LSU, Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn and ahead of Ole Miss in their predictions for the final SEC Western Division standings. Florida was picked to win the SEC Eastern Division, followed by Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Voters also picked the Gators to claim the overall league title.
 
Arkansas will begin full-squad preseason drills Aug. 9 in preparation for its Aug. 30 season opener against UNLV. The Razorbacks will host the Rebels at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., with ESPN scheduled to provide a national telecast of the game at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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