Barry Odom’s defense won’t be able to sneak up on anybody next season after Grant Morgan and Jalen Catalon were named to the first team AP All-SEC team Saturday.
Both of those guys are coming back and nothing grabs attention faster than returning all-league players.
Treylon Burks and Jonathan Marshall were named to the AP’s second team.
Morgan is one of only two Razorback defenders in the last 10 seasons to garner AP and coaches’ All-SEC first team honors, joining Martrell Spaight in 2014.
Morgan is tied for the nation’s lead, averaging 12.3 tackles per game while ranking second in the FBS and tops in the SEC with 111 total tackles. He also added five passes broken up, two quarterback hurries, one interception return for a touchdown, 2.0 sacks and a team-leading 7.5 tackles for loss to his season stat line.
The former walk-on recorded two 19-tackle games against Ole Miss and LSU, becoming the first SEC player to do so in a single season since LSU’s Kevin Minter in 2012.
Against Ole Miss, Morgan became the second FBS player since 2000 to total 15 or more tackles with 3.0 tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown.
He is the only FBS player this season to record six games of at least 12 tackles. Yesterday, he was named All-SEC first team by the league’s coaches.
Catalon becomes just the second freshman in school history — and first defender — to be named All-SEC first team; the first since running back Darren McFadden in 2005 (AP and Coaches).
He is the only FBS player to make 95+ tackles with three interceptions this season and the first SEC freshman since Tennessee’s Eric Berry in 2007 to have at least 86 stops and three picks.
The dynamic defensive back leads all FBS freshmen with 99 total tackles while also posting 2.0 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. His 9.9 tackles per game lead all FBS freshmen and rank fourth among all SEC players.
He made a career-best 16 tackles against LSU, and totaled five games of 12 or more tackles, second in the country behind Morgan. Catalon became the first Hog to intercept passes in back-to-back games when he did so against LSU and Florida.
He has also been named to The Athletic’s Freshman All-America first team. Earlier, Catalon was selected All-SEC second team by the coaches, the first Arkansas defensive back to earn All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches since Michael Grant in 2007.
Burks is the first Arkansas wide receiver to earn All-SEC recognition by both the AP and coaches since Cobi Hamilton in 2012. Burks is ranked fourth in the SEC and 18th nationally with 820 receiving yards, placed sixth in the league with 5.7 receptions per game and seventh with seven touchdowns.
Against Missouri, Burks had 10 catches for a career-high 206 receiving yards, the third-best single-game mark in program history.
The sophomore is tied for sixth in the FBS with six games of 90+ receiving yards. Burks scored a touchdown in three straight games against Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Tennessee, totaling four during that stretch, catching two TDs against the Aggies.
This season, Burks is one of just four FBS players to post 130+ receiving yards and 40+ rushing yards in the same game when he made 11 grabs for 137 yards and ran four times for 46 yards against Ole Miss.
As a freshman last season, Burks was named to the Coaches’ second team as a returner.
Marshall is Arkansas’ first All-SEC defensive lineman since Darius Philon in 2014.
The redshirt senior captain was the only Hog defender to start all 10 regular season games, totaling 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one forced fumble and four quarterback hurries.
According to Pro Football Focus, Marshall led the SEC in both run-defense grade (80.8) and run stops (20). His 633 snaps played led SEC interior defensive lineman.
Marshall made all 6.5 tackles for loss in six consecutive games and forced a fumble against No. 1 Alabama.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.