Hog players Smith, Swanson make football watch lists

Razorback football players continue to find room on prominent college football watch lists.

It was announced Thursday (July 10) that Arkansas senior defensive end Chris Smith has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Smith appears on his second watch list this week after also being included on the Bednarik Award Watch List released Monday.

The Mount Ulla, N.C., native, who has been recognized on numerous preseason All-SEC teams as well, started all 12 games in 2012 and was named honorable-mention All-SEC after recording 52 tackles, 13 for loss with 9.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and one fumble. He and Jadeveon Clowney are the only two returners in the SEC with at least nine sacks last season.

Smith’s 13 tackles for loss ranked seventh on Arkansas’ single-season list, and his average of 1.08 tackles for loss per game tied for fifth in the conference with teammate Trey Flowers. Smith’s average of 0.79 sacks per game ranked fourth in the SEC and 25th in the NCAA. He enters 2013 tied for 12th on UA’s career sacks list with 13.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Five finalists for the award, all from the Football Writers Association of America All-American team, are set to be announced Nov. 21, with the winner announced Dec. 9 at the presentation banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

It was also announced Thursday that Arkansas senior center Travis Swanson has been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List.

Swanson, who earlier this week was included on the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the third straight year, continues to receive preseason recognition that includes appearances on All-American and All-SEC teams. Last season, the Kingwood, Texas, native was a team captain and earned second-team All-SEC honors, leading an offensive line that allowed just 1.58 sacks per game to rank third in the conference and blocked as 24 school or SEC records were broken.

Swanson has started all 38 games of his collegiate career, which is tied for the fourth-longest active consecutive games started streak in the country. He has blocked for a 3,000-yard passer in each season, including the first season in school history with a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher and the first time in school history the Razorbacks produced a 1,000-yard receiver in consecutive seasons.

The Outland Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America. Bill “Bud” Brooks was the first Razorback to claim the award in 1954, and Loyd Phillips added another Outland Trophy to the Fayetteville trophy case in 1966. This year’s semifinalists will be released Nov. 20 before three finalists, all from the FWAA All-America Team, are announced Nov. 25, with the winner being announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12.

The winner will be honored at the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 9, 2014.