FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas placed six players on the preseason All-SEC teams chosen by the league’s coaches, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) announced Thursday.
Offensive lineman Dan Skipper landed on the first team, while linebacker Brooks Ellis took home second team honors. Tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, center Frank Ragnow, wide receiver Drew Morgan and defensive end Deatrich Wise each earned third team honors.
Named to the Outland Trophy watch list in July, Skipper is one of just two returning lineman in the conference to earn All-SEC honors from the league head coaches and the Associated Press in 2015. He started all 13 games at right tackle and finished second on the team with an 83 percent offensive grade. Making the move to left tackle this preseason where he played in 2014, Skipper has started 34 straight games.
The Razorbacks’ leading tackler in 2015, Ellis started all 13 games, extending his streak to 18 straight contests. He totaled 102 stops, which tied for ninth in the SEC. The Fayetteville native had 8-plus tackles six times, highlighted by three double-digit tackle efforts and was one of two SEC defenders to log 15-plus tackles in a game twice.
Sprinkle, who is on the John Mackey Award watch list, returns to Arkansas after a 2015 season that saw him catch 27 passes for 389 yards and lead all SEC tight ends with six receiving touchdowns, good for a tie for ninth among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) tight ends. All six scoring grabs came during the final seven games of the season.
Ragnow allowed only two sacks in 2015 to help Arkansas lead the SEC in fewest sacks allowed for the third straight year. He didn’t commit a penalty over the final nine games and didn’t allow a sack over the last seven contests. He played more than 900 snaps and finished with a 78 percent offensive line grade while tallying 54 knockdowns. Ragnow enters the 2016 season on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy as one of the nation’s best centers.
Morgan goes into the 2016 season as one of Arkansas’ primary receivers and looks to build on his team-leading 63 catches and 10 touchdowns from a year ago. After opening 2015 as the No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver, Morgan went on to not only lead the team in receptions and touchdown catches, but also yards (843). He will also open the year on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.
As for Wise, he tallied 31 tackles – including 10.5 for loss – and eight sacks in 13 games played last season. All eight of his sacks came during Southeastern Conference (SEC) play, which led the league in that category during the regular season.The Carrollton, Texas, product was especially dominant during the month of November as he recorded seven sacks through the final four regular-season contests, a figure that paced the SEC and ranked second nationally during that stretch.
The Razorbacks kick off their season on Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. when they host Louisiana Tech. The game will be nationally televised nationally on the SEC Network.