FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas offensive lineman Ricky Stromberg, defensive back Jalen Catalon, linebacker Bumper Pool and offensive lineman Brady Latham were named to the All-SEC Team on Friday morning.
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 that had 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. The Mansfield, Texas, native 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. The Lucas, Texas, product led the Hogs in total tackles with 125 (45 solo), his second consecutive season with 100+ total tackles. He 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. The Jenks, Okla., native played in 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 fellow All-SEC Team honoree Stromberg, he helped lead the way for four Razorbacks 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 to as high as No. 8 in the AP poll – the team’s highest ranking since 2011 – and checked in at No. 21 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, tying Arkansas’ highest-ever ranking from the committee and marking its 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. The Hogs’ season opener at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium will be a big non-conference test of national interest for the Razorbacks. Tickets are still available for the opener with Cincinnati.
Note to Our Readers: The information in this story was provided by the University of Arkansas Office of Communications, Oliver Grigg, Assistant Director.