FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas freshman Darren McFadden added to his list of honors on Monday when the Associated Press named him the SEC Freshman of the Year and selected him to the All-SEC first team.
Four more Razorbacks were selected to the AP All-SEC football team. Center Kyle Roper, defensive tackle Keith Jackson and linebacker Sam Olajubutu were named to the second team, while freshman Felix Jones nabbed honorable mention honors.
"It is great to see the writers recognize some of the outstanding individual accomplishments on our team this season," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "Darren had a fantastic season, and I am happy to see him selected as the league's freshman of the year. Kyle has been the heart and soul of our offensive line for a couple of years now, and there is no one more deserving than him. Sam really flourished in our new defensive scheme, and Felix did a little bit of everything for us this season."
McFadden became the first UA freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season finishing his rookie campaign with 1,113 yards on 176 carries. McFadden became only the seventh freshman in the history of the Southeastern Conference to accomplish that feat. In the process, the North Little Rock, Ark., native also set new school records for freshman rushing yards (1,113) and touchdowns (11).
McFadden ranks fourth in the SEC and 32nd in the nation in rushing yards per game (101.2). His 101.2 yards-per-game ranks second in the nation among freshmen running backs. He racked up five 100-yard rushing games on the season, which also ranks second among freshmen running backs.
"It is a great honor to be named the SEC Freshman of the Year," McFadden said. "I could not have accomplished what I did this season without tremendous blocking by my offensive line and a coaching staff that believed in my ability. I'm happy I was able to help the team, and I hope to have an even better year next season."
Olajubutu, a second-team selection, led the Hogs in tackles with 111 and ranked third in the SEC. He also led the team in tackles for loss with 14.5 for 40 yards. His 1.32 tackles per loss per game ranked fourth in the SEC. The LaGrange, Ga., native also accounted for 4.5 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. Olajubutu's 18 tackles against Auburn were the most in a single game by any player in the SEC this season.
Roper, a senior from Powder Springs, Ga., was selected to the second team and has been a staple along the Hogs' offensive line for years. He played through a knee injury during the second half of the season and helped Arkansas lead the SEC in rushing with 216.9 yards per game.
Jackson was named to the All-SEC second team at defensive tackle. He finished fourth on the Razorbacks in tackles with 66 and was third in the SEC in tackles among defensive linemen. He recorded six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to go along with seven quarterback hurries, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.
Jones proved to be a threat from a number of positions on both offense and special teams and garnered honorable mention as an all-purpose back. He leads the country in kickoff returns at 31.9 yards per return. He ranks just outside of the top 10 in the SEC with 56.9 yards rushing per game and accounted for four touchdowns. He also caught eight passes out of the backfield for 100 yards. His 543 kickoff return yards are the second most in a single season in school history.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Darren McFadden, Arkansas
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (OFFENSE)
Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (DEFENSE)
DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
COACH OF THE YEAR
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
WR - Sidney Rice, South Carolina, Fr., 6-4, 191.
WR - Chad Jackson, Florida, Jr., 6-1, 205.
OL - x-Marcus McNeill, Auburn, Sr., 6-9, 338.
OL - x-Max Jean-Gilles, Georgia, Sr., 6-4, 340.
OL - Andrew Whitworth, LSU, Sr., 6-7, 322.
OL - Arron Sears, Tennessee, Jr., 6-4, 338.
C - Mike Degory, Florida, Sr., 6-6, 304.
TE - x-Leonard Pope, Georgia, Jr., 6-7, 250.
QB - Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, Sr., 6-4, 228.
QB - D.J. Shockley, Georgia, Sr., 6-1, 206.
RB - x-Kenny Irons, Auburn, Jr., 5-11, 202.
RB - Darren McFadden, Arkansas, Fr., 6-2, 210.
K - x-Brandon Coutu, Georgia, So., 6-0, 197.
All-Purpose - Rafael Little, Kentucky, So., 5-11, 195.
Fred Bennett, CB, South Carolina; Michael Bozeman, T, Mississippi; Kevin Dockery, CB, Mississippi St.; Jeramie Johnson, S, Mississippi St., Jesse Mahelona, T, Tennessee; Stanley McClover, E, Auburn; Marcus Thomas, T, Florida; Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky.