Arkansas football: Local product Treylon Burks is the building block for Hogs' future
Not many players could have made the catch. Then again, Treylon Burks is proving more and more this season to be no ordinary player.
Burks’ 1-handed touchdown grab against Ole Miss on Oct. 17 introduced the Arkansas sophomore to football fans outside of Fayetteville. He leaped high to corral a ball that at first looked out of his reach, and he came down in the corner of the end zone in the 4th quarter.
The play gave the Razorbacks a 2-possession lead and was later made No. 1 in SportsCenter‘s Top 10 Plays. Burks finished with a career-high 137 yards receiving after missing the previous 2 games with injury.
Arkansas won 33-21 to earn their 2nd victory of the season, a shocking result to most fans. Much like he was in that win, Burks has been a huge reason for the Razorbacks’ surprise success.
There certainly hasn’t been a sophomore slump.
The Warren, Ark., native has quickly emerged as one of the SEC’s most talented receivers. He ranks 4th in the conference with 598 yards receiving, and he has 3 performances of 100-plus yards and 5 of 90-plus in 6 games.
He is also 1 of 2 receivers in Arkansas history (along with Boo Williams) to reach 1,000 yards in his first 18 games.
When Arkansas held a brief lead over Georgia early in the season opener, that, too, was in part because of Burks. He caught a 49-yard touchdown on the Hogs’ 1st drive of the season. Perhaps it should have been a sign of the year that was to come.
One physical trait contributes greatly to Burks’ ability to catch footballs: He has huge hands.
He wears a 5XL size glove, which the Razorbacks have to special order for him. Think shopping at the big and tall store, but for your hands. His large paws allowed him to develop a habit of high-pointing the ball on punt returns as if he were catching a pass.
It’s a habit the Razorbacks have worked to break him of this season, as NFL scouts were beginning to comment on it.
Speaking of the NFL, that could certainly be in Burks’ future after next season.
He finished 3rd in the nation among freshmen last year in catches of at least 20 yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. He clearly is shaping up to be one of the better prospects in his Draft class.
Burks also serves as a reminder to Arkansas kids that success can still be had for those who choose to stay home. That could be a useful pitch in recruiting. First-year coach Sam Pittman has already said he wants to make sure the Hogs get the best talent to stay in state.
For now, they can celebrate that Burks chose them when he had offers from Clemson and LSU.
As Arkansas gets closer to the end of the season, they have lots of reason to be excited about the future. The offense has a lot of young talent, and Kendal Briles’ system should take off even more with time. Burks could end up being even more prolific in his junior and potentially senior seasons.
Burks will likely have a new quarterback in 2021, as Florida transfer Feleipe Franks is a senior. That could be Malik Hornsby, a 4-star dual threat prospect from Missouri City, Texas, who is in his 1st year at Arkansas.
That would be the 3rd quarterback in as many years for Burks, but that shouldn’t slow him down. Whoever the starter ends up being should know, based on this year, to get the ball in Burks’ hands, and good things will happen.