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May 21, 2012

Razorbacks name six captains





The University of Arkansas football team will have six captains for the 2012 season, head coach John L. Smith announced Monday.

Quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis were chosen as captains for the second consecutive year and are joined by center Travis Swanson, defensive tackle Alfred Davis and linebackers Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright. The group was selected by a team vote after spring practice.

Wilson is the only Razorback in school history to be named first-team All-SEC quarterback, an honor he earned in 2011 after leading Arkansas to a school-record-tying 11 wins in his first season as a starter. The senior from Greenwood, Ark., holds nine school records, including career completion percentage, and has produced three of the top-five single-game completions marks in school history. He finished the 2011 season 277-of-438 passing for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns with six interceptions, becoming just the second Razorback to pass for 3,000 yards in a season, and leading the SEC with the eighth-highest single-season passing yards total in conference history. In addition to being a first-team All-SEC selection, he also was a finalist for the Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and the Offensive MVP of Arkansas' AT&T Cotton Bowl defeat of No. 11 Kansas State.

Knile Davis was a first-team All-SEC performer by the Associated Press in 2010, when he led all SEC running backs with 1,322 yards on the ground, the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. The junior from Missouri City, Texas, was named to numerous preseason All-America and All-SEC teams as well as watch lists for the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Walter Camp awards before suffering an injury during a preseason scrimmage that forced him to miss the 2011 campaign. In 2010, his average of 101.7 rushing yards per game ranked second in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA. His 6.48 yards per rushing attempt was the highest in the NCAA among running backs that carried the ball at least 200 times and ranked as the fifth-highest single-season average at Arkansas. He ended the season with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games, and his 157.8 rushing yards per game in November made him the only SEC player to average 100 yards per game on the ground in the season's final full month.

Swanson has started all 26 games of his Razorback career and blocked for consecutive seasons with a 3,000-yard passer, including the first season in school history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. The junior from Kingwood, Texas, was part of an offensive line that allowed the offense to break 16 game or season school records in 2011 and produce a 3,000-yard passer for the third straight season. Arkansas led the SEC in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense to become just the fifth different school, and first since 2001, to lead the conference in all three categories in a single season and the sixth team in conference history, and second since 1992, to lead the SEC in passing offense for three straight seasons. The Razorbacks ranked 13th in the country with their average of 300.7 passing yards per game, 15th in the nation with an average of 36.8 points per game and 29th in the NCAA with an average of 438.1 yards of total offense per game.

Alfred Davis has appeared in 37 games with eight starts in his career. The senior from College Park, Ga., saw action in all 13 games and recorded 14 tackles with 0.5 for loss in 2011. He made a season-high three tackles, including two solo, in the come-from-behind 42-38 win vs. No. 14 Texas A&M inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He started a run of three straight games with two tackles in the 38-14 win vs. No. 15 Auburn and included 0.5 tackle for loss against the Tigers. He also made two tackles in a 29-24 win at Ole Miss and in a 31-28 victory at Vanderbilt. He was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010 and 2011 and graduated May 12 with a bachelor's degree in recreation and sport management.

Highsmith started all 13 games of his first season at Arkansas and finished 2011 first on the team and 10th in the SEC with 12.5 tackles for loss. The senior from Missouri City, Texas, recorded 80 tackles, including 12.5 for loss with 4.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass breakup. His sack total was second on the team, and his tackle total ranked third on the team. He made a career-high 12 tackles, including a career-high-tying 2.0 tackles for loss, in the 38-14 win vs. No. 15 Auburn. He scored his first touchdown as a Razorback on a 47-yard fumble return and also made seven tackles with 0.5 sack at No. 1 LSU. He opened the season with four tackles and 2.0 for loss, which was the third-highest TFL total by an SEC player in the season's first week, in a 51-7 win vs. Missouri State. The next week, he started a stretch of six straight games with at least five tackles by making five stops in the 52-3 victory vs. New Mexico.

Wright enters the 2012 season as UA's active career leader in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries and forced fumbles and tied for the team lead in fumble recoveries. The senior from Memphis, Tenn., started all eight games in which he appeared in 2011 and recorded 25 tackles, 5.0 for loss with 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. His quarterback hurry total tied for the team lead despite him being injured early in the game at No. 3 Alabama and missing the next five games. He made four tackles, 0.5 for loss, and had a career-high three quarterback hurries in a 44-17 win vs. Mississippi State. At No. 1 LSU, he made a season-high five tackles, 0.5 for loss with 0.5 sack, and one quarterback hurry. He tied his season high with five tackles, including a career-high 3.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, and added one fumble recovery in helping Arkansas defeat No. 11 Kansas State 29-16 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

The Razorbacks begin their 2012 season Sept. 1 when they host Jacksonville State inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.


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