FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A pair of true freshmen at wide receiver, Treylon Burks and Trey Knox, started the season opener making an impact.
Burks, from Warren, caught three passes for 52 yards and returned two punts for 16 including a long of 11. Knox, who is from Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman, had one reception for 38 yards. Both talked to the media for the first time since arriving at Arkansas on Tuesday.
Burks talked about what it was like to play in his first Razorback game.
“It was a great experience,” Burks said. “I had fun playing out there with my brothers. We worked hard all summer to get to where we’re at. We prepared good the whole week of Portland State. I think we went out there executed the way we wanted to, but we didn’t have a big impact on the third downs. We had some good third downs and stuff, but we could have did a lot better on that. Just a lot of us receivers executing on our routes and getting our depth, stuff like that.”
Knox also talked about how it was to play his first collegiate game.
“It feels great to just get out there and have the experience,” Knox said. “I’d been sitting out for a little bit, so it felt great to get my feet wet and just play.”
How much impact did sitting out for those eight practices have on your first game?
“It hurt just because I wasn’t able to move around and do a lot of stuff,” Knox said. “I was taking very detailed mental notes of what I needed to do to prepare for the game. I think I did a good job with that.”
Burks talked about what it was like for he and Knox to get starting assignments in the season opener.
“It wasn’t really like getting starting assignments,” Burks said. “We had to earn it. We had to come in and work every day. They didn’t give us nothing. We had to come out and work and push ourselves to be better and push the older players to be better. It wasn’t like it was given to us, we had to earn it.”
Knox also talked about he and Burks getting starts in the opener.
“It shows what we have coming in the future and just to get our feet wet for this year, just to know we have a couple more years playing in the SEC,” Knox said.
Knox is looking for an improved game offensively against Ole Miss on Saturday night.
“I think we’re going to put a lot of points up in this game,” Knox said. “Coach (Joe) Craddock’s been preaching. He has a great plan and I believe it. After watching the film and just last week’s game, I think we can go in there and really dominate on the offensive side of the ball.”
Burks also expects to see Arkansas have a lot of success on Saturday in Oxford.
“It was a big learning experience,” Burks said. “I mean it was my first time playing since last year so that was a little nerve-wrecking. So other than that we have been as a team working on a lot getting better on what we didn’t do last week. So I think it’s gonna be a great week.”
What have you seen from Ole Miss’ secondary?
“They’re pretty good, but I feel like we’re gonna dominate,” Burks said. “Just being honest with you.”
Burks also had a message to the fans when asked about not getting the point production many expected against Portland State.
“I mean it happens,”” Burks said. “It was the first game of the year. You can’t really base anything off of that. It was the first game of the year. There’s more to come. We feel like we’re prepared for it.”
Following a punt return, Burks grabbed his knee after being hit. It was the same knee that he had surgery on and missed half of his senior season. But he said it’s fine.
“It just scared me that’s the first time I got hit on my knee since I’ve had surgery,” Burks said. “It was just a scare.”
Did it provide some relief?
“Yes sir, I felt good afterwards being hit in it,” Burks said. “I’m not really worried about it any more.”
Burks admitted that he didn’t exactly sit and watch all the college football games growing up.
“I’m not going to lie,” Burks said. “I never really watched football growing up. I’m the type of person I just like playing it. Last year I watched the game. I feel like there was more out there to it that we should have done to get that win and I feel like that we’re going to execute it well this weekend. We’re going to get it.”
What did you do if you didn’t watch college football?
“I was always outdoors, fishing and hunting and stuff,” Burks said. “That’s all I did.”
While Burks wasn’t a big college football fan, his grandfather was a Razorback fan and still has a lasting impression on the speedy wide receiver.
“He was always a Razorback fan,” Burks said. “I kind of knew a little bit that I was going to come here, but not much. Just living that dream up for him is a big honor for me and I’m going to carry that legacy on.”
Knox’s lone catch in the opener was from Nick Starkel. He was asked how his chemistry is with Hicks.
“I think it’s through the roof right now,” Knox said. “Because you know he came here in January or not really, later, along those lines. And I was here and we got to throwing before spring ball even started. I think that helps a lot. He’s leading the team like he should. He knows the offense. He’s been it for three, going on four years now. So that helps us in getting behind him and rallying behind him to be our starting quarterback.”
Knox sang ‘Friends in Low Places’ at the ladies clinic.
“Six-one-five, you know, shoutout,” Knox said. “But yeah, that’s me. Love country music. Big influence. Nashville is really down the street from where I live, so we go up there all the time, hang out, listen to Luke Bryan just shows up sometimes and just plays, so I’m a big Luke Bryan guy, so. I mean, I love country music.”
While Burks is more serious and prefers to hunt and fish, Knox has more of an outgoing personality.
“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, if you couldn’t tell, but I just approach everything with a smile because everything could be worse than it is,” Knox said. “I’m blessed to be here. I’m blessed God has put me in a position to do his work, so I can’t complain.”
You have been around Burks. What can you tell everyone about him?
“Big, I mean, he’s huge, actually,” Knox said. “Linebacker body playing in the slot, so I mean that’s always noticeable. He has a weird love for western films, that I’ve gotten to notice. Like, he wakes up early in the morning and watches them. I’m like, ‘Bro, you should be sleeping right now.’ He’ll put on a story, it’ll be like four or five in the morning before a workout, and he’s watching westerns. I’m like, ‘Okay, I guess that’s how you get your day started.’ But, he’s a cool guy to get to know ‘cause not too many people are Treylon Burks.”
When you visited Arkansas, both Craddock and Justin Stepp felt like that would be the last time they saw you here. Yet you chose to sign with them over Ohio State, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and countless others.
“They tell me that story all the time,” Knox said. “I’m like, did y’all really say that, though? We developed a relationship, we got to know each other. I began to trust Coach Stepp and Coach Craddock and Coach (Chad) Morris and their plan on building this program back up, so I had to be a part of it.”
Arkansas will return to the practice field on Wednesday.