Hogs’ Odom nominated for award named for legendary head coach

Defensive coordinator Barry Odom has been nominated for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant coach, the organization announced Monday.

The award was created in 1996 and named after former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, recognizing his legacy of selecting and developing great assistants during his hall of fame career.

Arkansas relied on Odom’s defense to record three SEC wins, its most conference victories since 2016.

Through the first eight league games, the Razorbacks improved in almost every defensive category over the previous year, allowing 9.0 points, 43.9 total yards and 70.6 rushing yards per game fewer than 2019.

Behind the first-year coordinator, the Razorbacks’ defense intercepted 13 passes, more than doubling the team’s output of the 2018 (5) and 2019 (6) seasons.

Odom also improved Arkansas’ red zone defense by 12-percent and third down conversion defense by 10-percent from last season.

Odom, who directly works with the safeties, has mentored redshirt freshman Jalen Catalon into one of the nation’s most dangerous defensive backs.

The safety leads all FBS freshmen with 89 total tackles and 48 solo tackles and is only player in the country this season to have 85+ tackles and at least three interceptions. Catalon was named one of 12 finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award earlier this week, which honors the nation’s best defensive back.

The Razorbacks four SEC Defensive Player of the Week awards this year are the most in a single-season in school history. Catalon, S Joe Foucha and LBs Bumper Pool and Grant Morgan have each won the award this season.

The 56 nominees in this year’s class were selected from approximately 1,270 assistant coaches representing 127 FBS programs across the country.

The Broyles Award selection process includes the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), broadcasters, a college football hall-of-fame selection committee and current college head coaches.

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.