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Razorbacks’ KJ Jefferson Has More Motivation

Hogs' quarterback not in top three in voting at SEC Media Days
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson thrives off being snubbed.

Now he's got another one after being absent from any mention of All-SEC voting at SEC Media Days this week.

The Razorbacks did have center Ricky Stromberg and safety Jalen Catalon named to the first time, but that's it.

That's interesting primarily because the Hogs were tabbed third in the SEC West. Because it's selected by media folks in Atlanta mostly interviewing each other this week Alabama and Georgia dominated the voting.

Linebacker Bumper Pool and offensive lineman Brady Latham were named to the second and third teams, respectively.

Stromberg, who earned first-team honors at center, anchored Arkansas’ offensive line last season, starting all 13 games and blocking for an offense that led all Power 5 schools in rushing with an average of 227.8 yards per game.

Behind his blocking, four Razorbacks rushed for at least 500 yards in 2021, a feat not been accomplished at Arkansas since 1975.

Stromberg totaled 873 snaps at center on the year, allowing only three sacks and getting penalized just eight times all season.

He was part of an offensive line that blocked for three games of 300+ yards of rushing (Texas, Ole Miss and Penn State) and two games of 600+ yards of total offense (Georgia Southern and Ole Miss).

Catalon, who carded first-team praise at defensive back, remains one of the nation’s top defensive backs despite missing most of last year due to a season-ending injury.

He finished eighth on the team in total tackles (46) with 1.5 tackles for loss despite playing in only six games. His four pass breakups tied for third most on the Razorbacks.

Pool earned second-team honors at linebacker. He led the Hogs in total tackles with 125 (45 solo), his second consecutive season with 100+ total tackles.

Pool is one of college football’s premier tackling machines, totaling the second-most stops (320) among all FBS defenders since 2019, and enters the 2022 campaign with 349 career tackles — ninth most all-time at Arkansas — to his name.

Latham, who grabbed third-team recognition on the offensive line, started all 13 games, lining up primarily at left guard.

He played 890 snaps and held an 81.7 pass blocking grade throughout the season, posting seven games with a pass blocking grade of 80.0 or higher according to Pro Football Focus.

Blocking alongside Stromberg, he helped lead the way for four Hogs to rush for at least 500 yards.

The Razorbacks, meanwhile, were picked to finish third in the SEC West, receiving one first-place vote.

Under head coach Sam Pittman, Arkansas won nine games in 2021, including all three of the program’s trophy games for the first time in history in addition to the Outback Bowl.

The Hogs rose as high as No. 8 in the AP poll, the highest ranking since 2011, and finished No. 21 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, tying Arkansas’ highest-ever ranking from the committee and marking ithe first time finishing the season in the Top 25 since the CFP’s inception in 2014.

Arkansas kicks off the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, against Cincinnati on ESPN.

SEC PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

EASTERN DIVISION

  1. Georgia (172)
  2. Kentucky (4)
  3. Tennessee (1)
  4. Florida
  5. South Carolina (3)
  6. Missouri
  7. Vanderbilt

WESTERN DIVISION

  1. Alabama
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Arkansas
  4. Ole Miss
  5. LSU
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Auburn

SEC CHAMPION

Alabama

2022 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

Ricky Stromberg

OFFENSE

First-Team

QB – Bryce Young, Alabama

RB - Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB – Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

WR - Kayshon Boutte, LSU

WR - Jermaine Burton, Alabama

TE - Brock Bowers, Georgia

OL - Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

OL - Warren McClendon, Georgia

OL - O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida

OL - Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

C - Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Second-Team

QB – Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

RB - Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

RB - Devon Achane, Texas A&M

WR - Cedric Tillman, Tennessee

WR - Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

TE - Cameron Latu, Alabama

OL - Layden Robinson, Texas A&M

OL - Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky

OL - Darnell Wright, Tennessee

OL - Javion Cohen, Alabama

C - Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia

Third-Team

QB – Will Levis, Kentucky

RB - Zach Evans, Ole Miss

RB - Kenny McIntosh, Georgia

WR - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR - Josh Vann, South Carolina

TE - Jaheim Bell, South Carolina

OL - Brady Latham, Arkansas

OL - Tyler Steen, Alabama

OL - Javon Foster, Missouri

*OL - Jeremy James, Ole Miss

*OL – Kendall Randolph, Alabama

C - Cooper Mays, Tennessee

Jalen Catalon

DEFENSE

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First-Team

DL - Jalen Carter, Georgia

DL - BJ Ojulari, LSU

DL - Derick Hall, Auburn

DL - Byron Young, Tennessee

LB - Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

LB - Nolan Smith, Georgia

LB - Henry To'oTo'o, Alabama

DB - Jordan Battle, Alabama

DB - Kelee Ringo, Georgia

DB - Eli Ricks, Alabama

DB - Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

Second-Team

DL - Zacch Pickens, South Carolina

DL - D.J. Dale, Alabama

DL - Ali Gaye, LSU

DL - Colby Wooden, Auburn

LB - Bumper Pool, Arkansas

LB - Dallas Turner, Alabama

LB - Brenton Cox Jr., Florida

DB – Cam Smith, South Carolina

DB - Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M

DB - Christopher Smith, Georgia

DB - Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Third-Team

DL - Gervon Dexter, Florida

DL - Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

DL - Maason Smith, LSU

DL - McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

LB - Owen Pappoe, Auburn

LB - Ventrell Miller, Florida

LB - Jeremy Banks, Tennessee

DB - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

DB - Trey Dean III, Florida

DB - Trevon Flowers, Tennessee

DB - Malachi Moore, Alabama

SPECIALISTS

First-Team

P - Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

PK - Will Reichard, Alabama

RS - Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP - Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

Second-Team

P - Oscar Chapman, Auburn

PK - Anders Carlson, Auburn

RS - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP - Devon Achane, Texas A&M

Third-Team

P - Paxton Brooks, Tennessee

PK - Harrison Mevis, Missouri

RS - JoJo Earle, Alabama

AP - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

* - Indicates a tie

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.

Arkansas Divider

HOGS FEED:

WITHOUT SABAN AND FISHER FEUDING AND NO NEW TEAMS, MEDIA DAYS WAS RATHER ROUTINE

OLE MISS HAS MUCH SMOOTHER SCHEDULE THAN RAZORBACKS THIS YEAR

HOGS GET HIGH PROFILE ALLY IN QUEST TO CHANGE OUTDATED RULE

HOGS' OFFENSE WILL NEED TO RELY ON RECEIVER BY COMMITTEE

ALL-AMERICAN SAFETY JALEN CATALON ON INJURY LAST YEAR, LOOKING AHEAD TO SEASON

HOGS' BUMPER POOL ON COMING BACK FOR BONUS SEASON TO LEAVE PROGRAM BETTER

SECMD22: RAZORBACKS QUARTERBACK KJ JEFFERSON ON GETTING BETTER

SEC NATION COMING BACK TO FAYETTEVILLE FOR OPENER

RAZORBACKS' SAM PITTMAN SHOWS HE'S RELATABLE TO FANS ONCE AGAIN

SEC OFFICIALS DIDN'T HAVE PRACTICE ON HOW TO DEAL WITH TENNESSEE-OLE MISS

Arkansas Divider

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