Warren is 4th senior to announce he'll return in 2021
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FAYETTEVILLE -- For the fourth day in a row, Arkansas received good news Monday morning regarding a senior returning next season.
Wide receiver De’Vion Warren announced via Twitter that he’d play for the Razorbacks again in 2021, taking advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility relief granted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Blessed to play one more year with my teammates and coaches!” Warren wrote. “Best is yet to come.”
Warren came to Arkansas as a 5.5 three-star athlete from Ouachita Parish High in Monroe, La., picking the Razorbacks over offers from Colorado State and other in-state Group of Five schools like Louisiana Tech and ULM.
A high school quarterback, Warren was recruited as a wide receiver and made the position switch as soon as he got to Fayetteville. However, his biggest impact during his first three years at Arkansas was on special teams.
As a freshman, the speedster established himself as one of the top kickoff returners in the SEC. His 26.4-yard average on 29 returns led the conference and ranked 13th nationally, helping him earn a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team as a return specialist. Warren had four returns of at least 40 yards, including a 100-yarder for a touchdown against Auburn.
The next year, Warren increased his average to 28.5 yards per return. Those two marks were the best single-season averages by a player in UA history not named Felix Jones. Although he hasn’t been as effective as a return man the last two seasons, Warren’s career 24.8-yard average on 65 returns still ranks fifth on Arkansas’ all-time list.
Despite showcasing his speed on special teams, Warren struggled to translate it to offense. Over his first three seasons with the Razorbacks, he caught just eight passes for 38 yards and one touchdown.
That completely changed under new head coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles. After hauling in one pass for 28 yards in the opener against Georgia, Warren stepped up when Treylon Burks went down with an injury.
He caught four passes for 100 yards and a touchdown in the win at Mississippi State and then had five receptions for 95 yards and a pair of scores in the near upset win at Auburn. That earned him a spot in the starting lineup even after Burks returned.
Unfortunately, Warren suffered a torn ACL on a kickoff return against Florida, which ended his season. In seven games, he caught 15 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding 35 yards on four carries.
Although he has played in four seasons and was a senior this year, Warren is able to return to school for a fifth season because of a rule change by the NCAA. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all football players have been granted an extra year of eligibility, regardless of how much they played this season.