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Quintet of Razorbacks honored

by Tom Murphy | December 6, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas had strong representation on the Associated Press All-SEC teams released on Monday, with five players being named to the two units voted on by a panel of 15 media members who cover the conference.

Tailback Rocket Sanders and linebacker Drew Sanders pulled down first-team honors along with center Ricky Stromberg.

Offensive linemen Beaux Limmer and Dalton Wagner were voted as second-team selections.

Tennessee, which will take a 10-2 record and No. 6 ranking in the College Football Playoff standings into an Orange Bowl matchup against Clemson, led the league’s individual selections.

Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker was chosen as the SEC offensive player of the year and Coach Josh Heupel was voted as coach of the year.

Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who leads the SEC with 10 sacks, was a repeat selection as defensive player of the year.

Heupel received six votes as coach of the year, edging out first-year LSU Coach Brian Kelly, who received five. Kirby Smart, coach of No.1 Georgia, received three votes and South Carolina Coach Shane Beamer, who led the Gamecocks to late-season upsets of top 10 Tennessee and Clemson, picked up one vote.

The two Sanders, who are unrelated, turned in historic seasons on each side of the ball for the 6-6 Razorbacks.

Rocket Sanders ranks 10th in the country and second in the SEC with 1,426 rushing yards, the fourth-highest single-season total in UA history, with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl yet to play. The sophomore from Rockledge, Fla., is 151 yards shy of Alex Collins’ 1,577 yards in 2015 in third place. Darren McFadden is the school’s single-season leader with 1,830 yards in 2007, and his 2006 season ranks second with 1,647 yards.

Drew Sanders, a junior from Denton, Texas, is tied for ninth in the country and second in the SEC with 9.5 sacks, the highest total for a Razorback since Chris Smith posted the same number in 2012. The 9.5 sacks is tied for seventh on Arkansas’ single season chart.

Stromberg, a fourth-year senior from Tulsa, Okla., was the highest-graded center in the SEC by Pro Football Focus with an 82.0 rating that ranked fourth in the nation. The 44-game starter over four seasons has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and will not play in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28.

Limmer and Wagner held down the right side of the Arkansas offensive line for 23 of a possible 24 starts this season, with Limmer competing in all 12 games and Wagner held out of a 13-10 loss to No. 7 LSU due to a back injury.

Wagner, a sixth-year senior and offensive captain along with quarterback KJ Jefferson, has accepted an invitation to play in the East West Shrine Game in February in Las Vegas. He has made 39 starts in his Razorback career and has not announced his playing status for the Liberty Bowl.

Limmer, a third-year junior, has made 23 consecutive starts and 29 for his career. The Tyler, Texas, native was the second-highest graded Arkansas offensive lineman on Pro Football Focus. His 79.1 rating is 11th in the nation and second in the SEC behind Florida’s O’Cyrus Torrence.

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