For a guy that didn’t make it into the end zone as a freshman, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks is a guy expected to be there on a regular basis as a sophomore.
Former Auburn offensive lineman ESPN’s Cole Cubelic, who also co-hosts a daily show at WJOX in Birmingham, Alabama, is in that group, too.
“He’s got legit juice,” Cubelic said Friday morning with Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) on ESPN Arkansas. “He’s a guy that can get over the top, hurt you in the open field, really good hands, good route-runner.”
Over the summer, Cubelic listed Burks as his breakout player in the league, that has some pretty good players in it already.
“There’s a bunch of good receivers in this league,” Cubelic said. “But (Burks) is one that because of the team he plays on probably doesn’t get enough attention. For me, when you talk about guys that know how to separate, be different and offer something extra you’ve got to have explosiveness and that’s what I see with him.”
So do his teammates. Cornerback Montaric Brown sees him up close in practice every day.
“He can do anything,” Brown said after practice Wednesday. “He has speed, power, and he can just run by you. Even though he’s like 230, he can run by you. He’s got all the weapons. He’s built like an NFL receiver, to me. He can do anything.”
Cubelic sees it in his work with ESPN where he’s comparing players from all across the college football landscape.
“He’s a guy who has elite explosive ability,” Cubelic said. “I think they’re going to find ways to utilize that and he’s going to have a big year.”
That’s the plan for Sam Pittman and we got the idea from him last week Burks is going to be on just about every special team where he’s “dynamic.”
“He’s talented enough to be the No. 1 receiver on several teams,” Pittman said. “We’ve got to find ways to get the ball to him, whether it’s throwing it to him, running him out of the backfield, throwing quick swings to him.
“He’s a big, fast receiver that we need to get touches to him.”
Last year five different quarterbacks never could quit figure out how to get to the ball to Burks consistently. Even the multi-talented receiver from Warren took a snap at quarterback in the Wild Hog formation.
Feleipe Franks has the experience and arm to get the ball to him, even though new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is bringing in a new system but he’s betting they make it work.
“No. 1 things can be simplified,” Cubelic said. “There’s a lot of, ‘hey, we get a one-on-on we’re throwing the deep ball,’ it’s just that easy. You’re going into the season with a guy that knows the speed of the game, knows what it’s about.
“When you’re talking about stretching the field — obviously we’ve seen that pass he threw at the end against Tennessee rolling to his right and throwing it 74 yards — the guy’s got the arm to stretch ANY defense anywhere. Those shots are going to be taken.”
But Cubelic remembers what Franks’ former coach Dan Mullen told him a couple of years ago.
“They were completely excited about the way he could run and what kind of runner he could be,” Cubelic said. “It’s an added experience you can utilize and maybe something you can use but his experience is going to be big.”
It comes down to the pieces falling into place.
“(Franks) has every bit of the talent to be a big time quarterback in this league,” Cubelic said. “He’s just got to have that moment like Jason Campbell at Auburn did (in 2004 taking the Tigers to a perfect season) and when that happens he’s got a chance to really take off.”
New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is part of that. Having guys catching the ball is another.
All of which is why Cubelic thinks Burks could really break out this year.
Just like Hog fans are hoping.