Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Swanson manages a big haul
Arkansas center Travis Swanson during an Aug. 31, 2013 game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas’ struggles the past two seasons did not impact the evaluations on center Travis Swanson, who is leaving as one of the most decorated offensive linemen in school history.
Swanson was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which was give last week to another fifth-year senior center, Florida State’s Bryan Stork.
Swanson was chosen as a first-team All-America by USA Today, and he was a first-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press and Sporting News, and second team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and Athlon.
The Kingwood, Texas, native started through two high-water years for Arkansas, the program’s first BCS bowl berth after the 2010 season and its 11-2 run and Cotton Bowl victory in 2011. Swanson’s final record as a collegian, which spanned 50 consecutive starts, was 28-22.
Korliss Marshall has let it be known he wants to play safety for the long term at Arkansas, but his explosive runs as a kick returner and change-of-pace back to standouts Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins are making Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema consider playing Marshall in a two-way capacity next season.
An even greater incentive to giving Marshall at least moderate reps on offense was his self-promoted 40 time this week.
Marshall posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that he had run in the low 4.3-second range in the 40-yard dash.
His post: “Ran a 4.32!!
God Is Good , striving to get better. Guarantee I run a 4.2 by spring ball.”Hitting 1,000
Arkansas freshman Alex Collins started his freshman season in strong fashion with three consecutive 100-yard games, but the 5-10, 207-pounder just trickled over the 1,000-yard mark with 80 rushing yards in his final two games against Mississippi State and LSU.
Collins ran for 28 yards, with a long run of 8 yards, in the Razorbacks’ 31-27 loss at LSU to finish the year with 1,026 yards.
“It was really satisfying, but I just wish we could have come out with the win,” Collins said. “We had the game and ended up losing it. That would’ve been more satisfying, just to have won that Golden Boot.”
Sports, Pages 30 on 12/15/2013