FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has who many consider the top wide receiver in the SEC in junior Treylon Burks, but Sam Pittman also likes what he has in addition to the former Warren High School standout.
In 2020, in nine games, Burks caught 51 passes for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. The next returning wide receiver is senior De’Vion Warren who caught 15 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. Beyond Burks, Pittman talked about the receivers who have a chance to step up.
“De’Vion Warren is a guy that’s healthy,” Pittman said. “He’s looked good. We will watch his rep take on just that injury he had. Certainly Trey Knox, (Tyson) Morris. I’ve liked, at least in the weight room workouts and the running, Warren Thompson. He’s looked good. Obviously you have to talk about JD White in that category along with Jaquayln Crawford. We’re trying to get to nine that we think we can go out there and win SEC games with. Some of that will include certainly (Kendall) Catalon and some of that will include some of the younger guys as well.”
Burks talked about what he has seen from Warren coming off his injury.
“He came in and worked hard just coming off that injury he had last season,” Burks said. “You can tell he just wants it more being his last year. He has gotten bigger, he looks stronger and faster. I just think it’s going to be a good year for him.”
Knox caught seven passes for 70 yards while Morris seven receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. When Mike Woods transferred to Oklahoma that opened up the other spots opposite Burks.
Thompson is a transfer from Florida State who was highly ranked coming out of Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. The redshirt junior played in 16 games at Florida State with three starts, all coming last fall. He caught 11 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown for the Seminoles.
The Hogs also have redshirt freshman Darin Turner along with true freshmen Ketron Jackson, Bryce Stephens and Jaedon Wilson among the scholarship players at wide receiver. Two redshirt freshmen walk ons are Chris Harris and Harper Cole.
Burks is reluctant to talk about himself, but did say a few things.
“Honestly, for me, I just want the team to go out there and play our hearts out,” Burks said. “Everybody play for the team and not themselves. The things everyone wants will happen then if it’s go to the NFL, set receiving records, set rushing records and all that. It will just happen.”
Burks is definitely sold on the depth at receiver behind him.
“We have so much depth in that room it’s just incredible,” Burks said. “Just to see how the freshmen are picking up on the new plays and learning everything. I think it’s going to be a pretty good year.”
Burks was asked about Turner and the trio of true freshmen and his expectations for them.
“They’re still freshmen and it takes time just like it took time for me,” Burks said. “Just a work in progress. If they keep their head on straight and work hard everything will happen.”
Burks was asked about reports having him ranked the top wide receiver in the SEC.
“It’s good to hear, but I’ve still got a season to play ahead of me,” Burks said. “Those are just assumptions people have made on me and accolades. We still have a season to play.”
Talented safety Jalen Catalon faces Burks some in practice and wasn’t as shy about praising the speedster.
“We’re both humble, but I will speak for him,” Catalon said. “I think he’s the best. Just seeing him in practice everyday and just seeing the things he does. You can tell all DBs have respect for him. When we do 1 on 1s or something we all want to go up against him. It’s almost like a challenge every single day. That just shows you the respect we have and to know he’s going to be one of the guys who makes us better.
“But it’s not just him. The whole receiving room is good. I think we have the weapons to be a really good receiving group this year from top to bottom. I think everyone can step up and do their thing in their own way, but he’s the leader of the group. There’s guys like Jaquayln, Trey Knox, Warren (Thompson) who just came in, I think my brother is going to make some noise and De’Vion. There’s a lot of guys who are going to step up and help us out this year.”
Burks added some more on Thompson.
“He is pretty fast and can catch the ball,” Burks said. “Honestly I’m just ready to see him in fall camp and see who he is and what kind of player he is.”
Arkansas will hit the practice field on Friday afternoon following Thursday’s Media Day.